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MISSION FITNESS: Stay in shape during the holidays - Odessa American: Mission Fitness

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MISSION FITNESS: Stay in shape during the holidays

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Posted: Wednesday, December 6, 2017 5:00 am

The holidays are a wonderful time of the year surrounded with family, friends, food and good times which can make sticking to our fitness goals extremely difficult. In addition, decreasing temperatures, shorter daylight hours, chaotic travel and a hectic shopping schedule make working out that much more troublesome. According to Science Daily, individuals can gain up to seven pounds from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be you this holiday season.

Here are five simple easy ways to ensure that you stay in shape during the holidays:

1. Plan and prepare ahead of time. With all the commotion and busyness that accompanies the holidays, it is important to plan when, where and what days you will be working out. When traveling, know if there are any gyms or park trails nearby that are available for you to visit. If you are staying at a hotel, call ahead and ask if they have an exercise room and what equipment is available. Prepare a workout routine that you can do right from your bedroom or with minimal equipment. Lunges, burpees, squats, pushups, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, step ups and climbing stairs are some of the many different exercises you can do pretty much anywhere.

2. Morning workouts. Lack of time is the biggest factor regarding holiday exercise which makes morning workouts your best friend. Waking up an hour earlier than normal may not be the most comfortable thing to do but completing your workout first thing in the morning ensures that you will not miss your workout because of time constraints.

3. Stay moving. The holidays are a popular time for sitting down, whether we are eating or watching college football. Try to avoid sitting as much as you can and stay moving throughout the day. Physical activity burns calories so the more movement you accumulate during the day, the more calories you will burn. Stand when you can.Make it a goal to perform thirty repetitions of jumping jacks, burpees, air squats or pushups as soon as you get a few minutes to yourself. You can even make it goal to perform thirty repetitions every hour. After twelve hours, you will have accumulated 360 repetitions.

4. Indulge for one night. Enjoy yourself on Thanksgiving and Christmas day. One night will not completely ruin all the hard work you have put in this year. Where that one night becomes the whole season is where our fitness goals start to slip. Appreciate this holiday season, but don’t let that one night become routine.

5. Focus on maintenance. If you absolutely cannot prioritize achieving your fitness goals this holiday season, focus on simply maintaining that status of your health and where you are in your fitness journey. It’s better to shift to maintenance workouts than to stop altogether and lose all the hard work you have done this year. If you normally workout five days a week, cut back to three or four days a week if that is more manageable for you. Maintaining the momentum of your workouts is much easier than quitting and having to reestablish later on. Don’t let the holidays cause your fitness related goals to move in reverse; don’t let the New Year be when you pick back up on your fitness related goals because you now have the perfect plan.

“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week.”

>> General George S. Patton Jr.

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