Let me be blunt: don’t sacrifice your workout routine in December! For those of you that take a break from working out in December and pile on a ton of guilt and work in January, I don’t buy it. It’s a bad plan. Take it from someone who did it for years—only to be disappointed come January—with a heck of a lot to catch up on.
I get it; December leads to a ton of holiday parties, brunches to catch up with old friends and plenty of family events to tuck into any available afternoon or evening. Add in travel time and lovely road conditions (weather and traffic included), and you’re not left with a lot of time to fit in a workout. And don’t forget you’re covering up with sweaters and jackets—there’s no wonder we’re not motivated. But (obviously a but was coming), it’s not an excuse. Here’s how you can continue to keep up with your fitness goals over the busy holiday season, and ensure you’re feeling your best.
Shorten your workout
I’m a big fan of the short workout. In fact, I didn’t really workout regularly until I realized I could go hard in 15-30 minutes and achieve similar results to my previous one-hour workouts (which likely included way too much down time on my phone). Download an app, (I suggest the Nike Training App or Sweat with Kayla App) or follow Instagram accounts like @thebettyrocker or @home.exercises for quick high-intensity workouts you can do from anywhere. They’re also time-based, so you can choose how much time you have to workout and always add on if you want to go longer.
Get active for your holiday dates
Here’s my favourite: incorporating social hangouts and friend meetups with working out. Take advantage of a unique fitness class in Toronto, try out a new rock climbing gym or, take on a more romantic approach, and go skating on one of Toronto’s many outdoor rinks. Follow up your activity with a yummy cocktail, beer or fancy coffee, and you’ll have an amazing date without the caloric guilt of many food and drink focused dates.
Take advantage of workouts on the go
Whether it’s in a cozy chalet, your parents basement, a hotel or elsewhere—being away from home is never an excuse to not workout. Apps and social media have really empowered us to take the gym wherever we go. I’ve definitely used the edge of beds in hotel rooms to do tricep dips and chairs to do step-ups. Enough room to do burpees? Your entire body will thank you later. Throw a tension band in your luggage and you’ll have your own mini gym at your fingertips.
Find a new yoga studio
To many, a gorgeous yoga studio may as well be like embarking on a high-end resort. The calming atmosphere, stunning designs and luscious light-filled room may evoke an inner calmness you never knew existed (especially during the holiday’s). Many studios offer a discounted trial month, and why not take advantage of December to use that offer? The studios will be far busier in January, so you may as well treat yourself to the calmness and serenity prior to the crazy gym-focused-goers at the beginning of the year.
Explore new gyms and studios in your hometown
Whether you grew up in a different area in the city or you’re heading to the depths of rural Ontario for the holiday season, there will be a new gym or studio to explore. Do some preliminary research online and see what’s changed since you’ve been home, and whether or not there is a new facility to check out. Email ahead and see if you can get a guest pass or a weekly membership, and perhaps even bring an old friend from high school?