Just because there is snow on the ground and egg nog in the punch bowl, does not mean it’s time to shut down the engines on exercise. While work parties, family gatherings, and spending time with loved ones can make eating healthy and working out challenging, it does not mean that it can’t be done. As I’ve said before in previous posts, you have to make your health a priority in your life; regardless of the time of year.
Here are a couple ideas to help keep you focused this holiday season:
1. Participate in a holiday-themed run
Most cities and towns now offer “Turkey trots” and “Santa 5k’s”. Preparing for a run/walk will help keep you motivated. Invite your friends to partake and make it a group effort that will help with accountability.
2. Family time
Traditionally, holiday season means spending time with family. It also means time to eat and drink. Why not move together as well? Play simple games like tag or hide-an-go-seek with your young nieces and nephews. Or, after every meal, encourage a 30-minute family walk around the neighborhood. It may not burn 1,000 calories but it sure beats going back for 3rds on the pumpkin pie.
3. Plan in advance
If you are traveling to another city or state, hop online and do a little advanced research. Inquire about temporary gym memberships or see if you can be an “add-on” to your family member’s existing membership. If you would rather be outdoors and are traveling somewhere warm, look up running routes and hiking trails in the area.
Snow is one of my favorite pieces of “fitness equipment” during the holiday season. If you are going to be surrounded by snow this year, take advantage of it. Go skiing, snowboarding, or ice-skating. If those don’t interest you then grab a shovel and get a great full-body workout in. Even building a snowman beats sitting on the couch all afternoon.
5. BYOE (bring your own equipment)
I keep a TRX unit in my suitcase at all times. That way, every time I pack for a trip, it’s already in there ready to go. If you know that you won’t have access to a gym then bring portable fitness equipment such as tubing, a TRX suspension trainer, or the TRX RIP trainer. These are all small, simple solutions that will fit right into your suitcase or carry-on bag. If you have access to a suspension trainer and a RIP trainer, here’s a quick complex for you to try. It involves 4 movements that will work the entire body. Perform 10-15 reps of each exercise for 2-3 sets and you’ll get a great workout in that will only take about 15-20 minutes.
Those are just a couple, low-cost, simple solutions for you to use to combat the “holiday pounds” this season. Don’t make excuses, make good!
Doug Balzarini, CSCS, MMA-CC, is the owner of DB Strength, which provides fitness training, education, and resources. He is also the strength and conditioning coach for Alliance MMA where he works with UFC Champion Dominick Cruz, Phil Davis, Brandon Vera, Travis Browne, Ross Pearson, Alexander Gustafsson, and more. Prior to starting his own business, Doug worked at Fitness Quest 10 as a personal trainer, strength coach, and Operations Director for Todd Durkin Enterprises (TDE).
He has completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU and has obtained multiple certifications including ACE, NSCA-CSCS, MMA-CC, TRX instructor training, RIP training, EFI Gravity instructor training, LIFT Sandbag Certification, and FMS training. He has produced his own 2-DVD set on strength training for combat athletes, appeared in many fitness videos and articles, and was recently a coach on “The Ultimate Fighter” TV show.
For more information please visit www.dbstrength.com.