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Staying Fit During the Holidays

December 25, 2019 3 min read 20 Comments

I have a confession to make. 

I’ve fallen off the workout bandwagon. The weather got a little chilly up north … then Thanksgiving came around … and it was a wrap. 

If you find yourself in the same boat as me that’s totally okay! Because guess what? The winter months can be a challenging time to stick to an exercise plan. The weather is colder, the daylight hours are shorter, and other priorities can make it hard to keep a routine.

Even though exercise in winter months can be challenging, it’s still super important for our overall well-being.

So to help us out, here are some tips to keep in shape  when ole’ man winter ❄️ rears his head:


No plan + no action = no exercise!

If you try and wing it you’ll soon find (like me) you’re not hitting good goals. However, if you plan your workouts in advance (with alternatives for unpredictable Nor’easters and such), your chances of following through increase dramatically.


Remind yourself of your goals for exercise and staying in shape.

Do you want to hit a flight or two of stairs without getting out of breath?  Feel more fit, toned, or healthier? Perhaps you’d like to drop 3 lbs. by the end of the month?

By starting with basic goals in mind, you’re more likely to succeed. This is especially true if you know smaller increments work better for you than larger ones.  Once you work yourself into a pace and goal achievement that makes you feel good about your efforts, then I’d suggest increasing your routine in a healthy way.


I don’t know about you, but with the often frigid temps, I’m not looking forward to leaving the comfort of my warm house to go running a mile outside. 

If you’ve gotten used to exercising outdoors throughout the summer/fall, then start thinking about how you can move your training indoors. For those that don’t have access to a building gym or home workout studio, try some alternate routines.

If you have weights, resistance bands, jump rope, yoga blocks, or other equipment, you can creatively incorporate them into a great full-body workout to get your winter routine going.

Another back pocket trick of mine is to flex with fitness YouTubers.  Find one that fits your style and flow, and enjoy having a personal trainer on call 24/7!! Some of my go-to’s are:


Between the scrumptious holiday dishes and hearty winter meals, remembering to eat healthy during this time of year is super difficult for me. From the home-cooked meals to catching up on restaurants I missed (as an out-of-state student), it’s really easy to bump my head while falling off that exercise wagon. 

But, I try to follow the recommended 80/20 rule which says a healthy eating habit is 80% good eats and 20% (brace yourself ) more indulgent eats (with moderation). Following that equation is a sure-fire way to reaching health goals and keeping excess fat away.


When your schedule is busy, remind yourself that exercise doesn’t have to take long. There are lots of simple ways to increase your physical activity. 

  • Instead of using an escalator or elevator, take the stairs (even if you need to stop in between steps)
  • Park your car a little farther away to increase your steps.
  • When your favorite song comes on, instead of just exercising your pipes, get moving and dance up a storm for a few minutes
  • While you’re brushing your teeth,  try some squats
  • Washing the dishes, mopping, or sweeping?  Try side leg kicks remembering to alternate each side (swing your leg out for a few counts)  and remember to alternate

Experts recommend that you exercise for at least 30 minutes, five days a week. However, even five or ten minutes of movement a day can help with weight loss, improving your mood, and increasing your heart health.

So, remember your goals for exercising, grab a partner, find an activity you enjoy, and get moving!

And for some more inspiration, check out my 5 Ways to Stick to a Fitness Plan post!

How do you stay active during the holidays/winter?


  • Stella Harper January 7, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    Love the tips..! Especially washing dishes, sweeping or mopping, that’s what I always do to make some sweat.

    • annaelleliz January 8, 2020 at 1:17 am

      Haha! Turning on the tunes when doing housework kills two birds with one stone!

  • Rachel January 5, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    These are really helpful tips! I somehow managed to stay on track over the holidays!

    • annaelleliz January 5, 2020 at 3:51 pm

      So jealous! The holidays threw me for a loop!

  • Christa December 31, 2019 at 11:50 pm

    I had such a great workout routine going and then Thanksgiving happened and it’s been downhill since then. Making a plan is such great advice! I’m much more likely to hit the gym if I schedule it.

    • annaelleliz January 1, 2020 at 12:17 am

      I blame it all on Thanksgiving lol! I’ve had been doing at-home workouts to get myself in the going to the gym mindset!

  • Amber Hurley December 31, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    Omg it’s so hard to workout. It’s a constant struggle.

    • annaelleliz December 31, 2019 at 11:12 pm

      I feel ya! The struggle is way too real!

  • Patricia @ Grab a Plate December 30, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    Great suggestions! I like having the YouTube recs! I’m really needed to stay on track, so this will help me!

    • annaelleliz December 30, 2019 at 10:16 pm

      Fitness YouTubers are like having your own personal trainer at home! So glad you liked the suggestions!

  • Ashley R December 27, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    I live in Oregon so getting outside to workout is miserable and can kill your motivation quickly. I’m working on it for sure.

    • annaelleliz December 27, 2019 at 4:21 pm

      OMG I can imagine! Working out outside in colder climates is a motivation killer. I’m in NYC and I’ll open the window and be like NOPE ?

  • Amber December 27, 2019 at 9:20 am

    I always have a hard time staying on Track during the holidays! Just so much going on and such a long daily checklist of other things to get to that working out goes to the bottom and doesn’t really happen. Thank you for the tips.

    • annaelleliz December 27, 2019 at 4:17 pm

      So true! That checklist seems never-ending during the holidays! Glad you enjoyed the tips!

  • Kileen December 27, 2019 at 1:30 am

    These are helpful tips! The holidays can be so stressful but these are so great!

    cute & little

    • annaelleliz December 27, 2019 at 4:16 pm

      So glad you found them helpful! The holidays are always a struggle for sticking to working out for me!

  • Amber Myers December 26, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    Oh man, I need to work at these. I know I’ve probably gained some weight from all the cookies I’ve eaten.

    • annaelleliz December 27, 2019 at 12:38 am

      HAHAHA! You and me both! All those sweets have gone in on the lips and out on the hips ?

  • Sharon December 26, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    These are all such great tips for the holidays! I can be a hectic time that can sometimes be stressful on top of not eating right.

    • annaelleliz December 27, 2019 at 12:36 am

      Thank you! Yes, getting in a small workout is so hard around the holidays!

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