It's always tough to find time for exercise, but during the holidays, fitness can be sidelined in favour of nights out, family travel and shopping for gifts. Amanda Boldrick, manager of health and fitness at the YMCA of Central East Ontario, says the number of personal-training appointments can drop by up to 50 percent over the holidays.
Plan for a recovery week. If you exercise regularly, check your calendar and identify your busiest week in December. Make those seven days a gym-free recovery week, and stick to a regimen for the four to six weeks prior, suggests Boldrick. This will give your body time to rest before gearing up again, she says. Don't sit on the couch and watch Netflix, though. Boldrick encourages people to take walks and stay mobile during the recovery period.
Get social. While personal-training appointments drop in December, group classes hold steady, says Boldrick. Not only does working out with others motivate us, but staying social also gives our overall wellness a lift. Plus, a Spinning or yoga class takes planning out of the equation at a time when you can feel overloaded with making decisions, says Taylor.
Shrink your workout. Do you have four minutes to spare? Then high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is your friend. The HIIT theory is that exercisers can reap aerobic benefits from very short bursts of intense exercise. Boldrick recommends an app called Tabata Stopwatch Pro, which has an adjustable timer to steer users through 20- or 30-second intervals of squats, planks, pushups and jumping jacks.