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Workouts To Help You Stay In Shape During The Holidays

by Uneeb Khan

The holidays are the most festive time of year, but they’re also the most dangerous to your health. While the holidays are the perfect time to see family and friends, you can expect to be surrounded by tons of food wherever you go. From holiday dinners with your family to lunches with friends while spending time away from the office, making smart choices is hard during the holidays. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about breaking your fitness routine even when surrounded by delicious holiday treats. Here are a few workouts to help you stay in shape this holiday season: 


People who say shopping isn’t exercising likely don’t do the holiday shopping in their households. From buying everyone in the family gifts to ensuring you have enough food to last through the holidays and beyond, shopping can be exhausting. Luckily, you can look at shopping as more than just a chore this year and use it to work out. Of course, you won’t be sweating during this workout like you would on a treadmill or at the gym, but walking around shops to find the best deals is a form of exercise that can help you burn off more calories. 

We all want to relax on holiday, but nobody wants to lose their hard-earned gains. The good news is that you can stay in great shape on holiday with a few smart choices and short bodyweight holiday workouts. 

Hiking or Walking

After you eat just a little too much while celebrating the holidays, you might not feel like going for a vigorous run. However, you can help your food digest, reduce gas, and burn some extra calories by going for a hike. When walking and hiking around the holidays, always dress appropriately. For example, if you live somewhere with tons of snow and ice, you must wear the proper shoes to prevent your feet from getting cold. 

Hiking is a great low-intensity exercise anyone can enjoy, so bring the whole family to your favorite spot in the woods to help everyone digest after a large meal. 

Condensed Workouts

There’s not a lot of extra time for yourself during the holidays. Between seeing family and shopping for gifts, you may not have as much time to go to the gym as you’d like. Condensed exercises allow you to burn calories and build muscle without taking too much time out of your day. You can spend 10 minutes a day doing intense cardio with condensed workouts, like running or using the elliptical. 

Weight Training

Again, because you don’t have a lot of extra time during the holiday season, you must find workouts you can do in just a few minutes. Bodyweight exercises and weight training are easy to do from anywhere as long as you have free weights. You can lift weights at your desk or do yoga to use your body weight to build muscle. 

Winter Sports

Changing seasons means changing sports. While you can no longer play soccer because the field is covered in snow and ice, you can still engage in some sports this snowy season. Cross-country skiing, running, and snowboarding are fun winter sports for the whole family and can keep you active through the holidays. 

Indoor Workouts

Sometimes it’s just too cold to work out outside, and sometimes it’s dangerous. Having an indoor workout routine, you can do when you can’t go for a run outside is key to staying in shape during the holidays. You should also have a few different routines to ensure you’re getting an effective workout and avoid plateaus. Try everything from yoga to pilates, or purchase your own gym equipment to keep you in shape indoors. 


If you’re an avid video game player with a whole gaming setup, consider implementing some movement into your gaming session. Consider buying a treadmill to go under your gaming desk. You can walk and get some movement in while playing online with your friends or getting deep into a story. You can also purchase a VR headset to get you moving while in a game. VR games are super popular for immersing you into a game and requiring you to move in order to play. 

Move More

Simply moving more is one of the best ways to stay in shape during the holidays. Throughout the rest of the year, you may find yourself becoming more and more stationary and sedentary. Maybe it’s due to your desk job or responsibilities at home that leaves you exhausted at the end of the day. However, lack of daily movement can contribute to weight gain, pain, and associated health conditions like diabetes. Moving more is a great way to burn extra calories during the holidays without feeling like you’re working out. 

There are many ways to move more, including making chores fun by dancing around the house or getting your children involved in different activities. Even something as simple as walking your dog a little longer in the morning counts as being more active. 

Couch Workouts

Let’s be realistic; you’re probably not going to make time for workouts every day during the holidays, but you’ll likely find time to sit in front of the television at some point. Luckily, there are a few workouts you can do while watching tv, including:

  • Crunches
  • Leg raises
  • Stretching
  • Couch squats
  • Incline push-ups

A couch workout won’t be enough to help you lose weight, but it’s a great way to maintain your current fitness level on days you feel like being a little lazier. 

Should You Workout More During the Holidays? 

Depending on your holiday activities, physical fitness may be more important during the holidays than it is during the rest of the year. Since the holidays can be stressful and you’re bound to eat a ton of food, working out a little more can help you keep the holiday weight off while ensuring you feel motivated to continue working out into the new year. Working out during the holidays can also help reduce stress and boost energy levels, which you’ll need for all the shopping and family activities. 

Of course, you don’t have to work out more during the holidays as long as you can maintain your current fitness routine. If you don’t manage your fitness routine, you may have to monitor your calorie intake since overindulging during the holidays can lead to weight gain. 

Final Thoughts

You can do many workouts to stay fit during the holidays, but finding what’s best for you may take experimentation. Since you may have less time throughout your day to work out, you may benefit from quick indoor workouts instead of going outdoors. However, what works best for you depends on your schedule and commitment to fitness. 

Megan Isola

Megan Isola holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and a minor in Business Marketing from Cal State University Chico. She enjoys going to concerts, trying new restaurants, and hanging out with friends. 

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