The holiday season is once again upon us, and for a lot of us, it’s a season full of good old family fun and cheer. Holiday parties stocked with seasonal snacks and festive drinks keep us busy, and when our alarms go off to tell us it’s time to hit the gym, we might think twice about braving the chilly Chicago morning air.
So, how can you stay motivated and on track to hit your fitness goals during this often chaotic and unpredictable time of year? And for the bravest (or craziest) of us who dare to face the crowded airports, how do you manage your workout schedule while traveling? Here are four ways to keep your eyes on the prize this holiday season.
Have A Plan
I know it sounds simple, but it’s always best to have a game plan, especially when it comes to your own health and fitness. You first need to build a foundation that will keep you accountable and on top of your own schedule. Pick a realistic amount of days you see yourself being able to make it to the gym. Choose a time on those days that works best for you – ideally a time where you feel most energized. Lock that time in your schedule as your own personal time and stick to it.
After your days of the week and times are set, start to break down what you will be doing at the gym. If you’re in the gym three or more days per week, find a program split that works best for your goal. If you find yourself in the gym one or two times a week, put together a full body workout you can do on both days.
Have A Plan B
Like I mentioned, the holiday season can be unpredictable. If we don’t have a backup plan for the days when we really can’t make it into the club for a workout, we are bound to fail. Your Plan B can be as simple as having a go-to at home workout to do or having another day in your schedule that you can use as a backup time slot just in case.
Find A Group Fitness Class You Love
Even when it’s too early and you’ve not had your coffee yet or you’re drained after a long day of work, booking a spot in the group fitness class is a great way to stay motivated this holiday season. The energy in a group fitness class is infectious. The music is pumping and the instructor has their eyes on all of you. Your only option is to give it your all.
Find a class with a focus you love or a coach that pushes you, and you’ll find a community that will keep you coming back. If you’re looking for a new class to try, check out my small group training class, Critical Hit, Fridays at 7 AM at FFC West Loop. The class is dedicated to mixed martial arts drills and kettlebell movements, and I might tell one too many corny jokes throughout the class.
Hire A Personal Trainer
This is my number one suggestion to help you stay motivated this holiday season, and it’s not just because I’m a personal trainer myself. Why would you want to add more work and complication to your life during an already stressful time? If you’re not sure what to do at the gym, or even just don’t want to do it, why not hire someone who specializes in motivating you?
A personal trainer has experience helping people reach their goals safely and successfully. As a coach, I spend tons of time writing workout programs, checking in with clients, running my personal training sessions or small group classes. Sometimes that leaves me too busy to write my own workouts, which is where my own personal trainer comes in to motivate and keep me accountable.
All in all, staying motivated during the holiday season doesn’t always have to take a toll. Remember that you always have options and support from those around you in your fitness community.
I’d like to close this topic out with a bonus option: Bring a friend or make a workout buddy. I know your workout can seem like a slice of alone time during your day, but it doesn’t have to be. Your friends and family can help keep you motivated and can push you in a way you’re comfortable with.
As always, I wish you luck in your fitness journey. If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to schedule a session, don’t hesitate to reach out! I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy holidays to all!
Post written by FFC Personal Trainer Mike Riley.