Staying Active Throughout the Winter: 5 Tips to Stay in Shape Despite Holiday Stress

The holidays are here, and people are saying goodbye to their personal agenda of staying fit and healthy and hello to indulgent dinners and stretchy clothes.

It doesn’t have to be this way! “Staying in good physical condition has another advantage around the holidays. If you exercise regularly and are in good condition your body automatically burns calories at a higher rate. Muscle burns fuel rapidly, making unwanted weight gain unlikely,” explains Dr. Gil Kentof at Dr. Gil Center for Back, Neck and Chronic Pain Relief. “An extra uphill walk, jog, bike ride, or couple of days in the gym is often all it takes to get back on track for those already in shape after big get-togethers and holiday meals!”

You can still enjoy the holidays and stay active throughout the winter with these five simple tips—they’re so easy, they’ll make the rest of your holiday seem stress-free!

  • Find the Time, Then Make It Happen

No one knows your day like you do. People may say to exercise in the morning, at night, on your lunch break—but none of them know you or your schedule. You’re the one who knows when you have the time to squeeze in a 20-30-minute workout. So it doesn’t matter what time it is, just pick a time that works for you and make it happen! Try to stay on this routine as best you can throughout the holidays.

  • Get a Workout Buddy

Sometimes working out can feel like a chore, especially when you have a load of things to do waiting for you at home. Finding a workout buddy who’s able to exercise with you can boost your motivation and help you stay active this holiday. Find a friend you enjoy being around—or even your spouse or kids—to commit to at least two or three workouts a week with you. They don’t have to be anything too strenuous; a walk, yoga, or just a jog around the block can make a difference!

  • Take a Class at Your Local Gym

Signing up for a class at a local gym can be an easy and fun way to stay in shape this winter despite holiday stress. Choose a class you’ve never done before or pick an old favorite—either way, committing to do something at least once a week can help you stay active. Local gyms to check out include Music City Fitness or theFranklin Family YMCA.

  • Indulge—But Just on One Plate

Those huge family dinners with all the food you haven’t seen in 365 days can feel like your one and only chance to indulge. You can and should indulge a little, as sticking to a strict diet could set you up for failure or a binge-eating session later. This year, try the one-plate rule to stay in shape this holiday. This means you get one plate (no, not a platter) and put a little bit of everything on there and then skip going back for seconds. You’ll feel better and have eaten all your favorites!

  • Get Outside!

It’s not easy to get outside when it’s cold, but exercise can actually relieve pain and stress. There are lots of winter activities you can do alone or with your family and friends, including walking to see Christmas lights, signing up for a 5k, or even ice skating. If you just can’t find it in you to get outside this holiday to exercise, check out the Williamson County Indoor Sports Complex for swimming, fitness classes, and more.

You can stay in shape this holiday season! Don’t gain those extra pounds just by sitting around and eating. Even a little activity every day can make a difference and stave off that impending holiday weight gain. Follow these five tips and stay in shape and stay healthy!