Holiday Workout Tips
Schedules are tight any normal time of year. Add in the holiday craze and it can be difficult to find time to get a breath in, let alone exercise. It can feel overwhelming, trying to prioritize your health this time of year, but it doesn’t have to be, and you don’t have to give up on your health and fitness goals just because schedules are getting a little crazier, travel is imminent, and the goodies are everywhere you turn. If you’re worried about keeping your heart (and the rest of you) healthy as the holidays approach, here are a few of our favorite Denver cardiologist recommended tips for squeezing workouts in no matter how hectic things get.
Make it Mini
You don’t need to exercise for an extended period of time – you can make it quick. 20 minutes is all you need for a good, solid workout if you’re focused in and have a plan. Whether it’s a quick weight-training circuit or a simple walk around the block with your furry friend, finding 20 minutes in your day to get moving can not only improve your physical health but will help keep your mental health in check as well.
Walk With a Doc
Not so sure you can talk yourself out from under that cozy blanket on your couch when the weather is cold? Don’t depend solely on your ability to motivate yourself – join a group, instead. We partner with the organization Walk with a Doc to help keep people healthy and active in a group setting. You can get your walk on – which is great for joints and heart health, all while having the opportunity to have your questions answered by local physicians and specialists. Now that’s the kind of health-focused physical activity you can get behind even when the holiday schedule gets intense.
When you think working out, you might think of running, or hiking, or lifting weights. Those are the typical forms of exercise that most people associate with “working out.” But if you’re short on time, you might want to consider non-traditional forms of physical activity, too. Think about it – when you’re spending a full day in the kitchen preparing meals, hand mixing doughs and healthy dishes, you’re getting in at least some physical activity. When you’re swapping out the decorations in your home for more festive ones, putting up the Christmas tree, shoveling the sidewalk, all of those things count as exercise. Just make sure you and your doctor agree that you’re physically prepared for the exertion any of those activities (especially shoveling) might require, but then remember that this time of year, you’re often getting in workouts without even thinking about it!
If getting to the gym is the biggest thing for you – for reducing stress and increasing physical health – then consider getting up earlier. It might not be the most attractive option when the bed is warm and it’s dark and cold early in the morning, but sometimes prioritizing those workouts requires a little more work on your part. And hey, getting up early means you can get more done with your day post-workout, too!
If you absolutely can’t get a workout in, don’t beat yourself up about it. If you can’t get several in, that’s ok. Life happens. Just remember to adjust your food intake in that case. If you’re not as active, your body needs less caloric intake in order to be happy. Keep that in mind and focus on consuming whole foods that will give your body the energy to tackle your next workout, even if it’s a little way out. Nutrition has a wonderful compounding effect that way.
We know it can be hard, but with a little extra effort, some slight lifestyle adjustments, and a focus on prioritizing movement, you can still keep your workout routine on point throughout the busy holiday season. If you’re not sure what exercises might be best for you this time of year, consult with your physician or cardiologist today.