How To Stay In Shape During the Holidays

There’s a lot of talk this time of year about people being too busy to exercise and keep up with their fitness routines. While I always find time to hop into the gym—if only to see if Hot Gym guy is hanging around—or throw in a Jillian Michaels DVD for 30 minutes so I can yell, “I’M NOT PHONING IT IN!, I understand that some people simply have different priorities.

Considering I don’t prioritize spending more than five minutes on my makeup in the morning, no judgment here.

But there’s good news! Because just like holiday décor doesn’t have to come from traditional places, neither does breaking a sweat and getting in a workout during the holiday season. I’m here today to let you know that it’s totally fine if the only jogging you do is of your memory while trying to remember where you hid that last freaking gift.

So pull off that ugly Christmas sweater, do a few light stretches and feel the burn doing things you’re probably already doing, my friends!

stayinshape

Dashing through the snow to bring the trash bin to the end of the driveway before the truck comes in the morning.

Doing twisting crunches in bed to reach and hit the snooze again super-setted with kicking off the sheets or blanket in an effort to get untwisted.

Walking around the parking lot looking for where you parked your car (while ticking off the parking spot stalkers that are waiting for you to get in your car and leave, like you’re roaming around in the cold on purpose.)

Pushing a grocery cart through the slushy lot requires lower body strength while upper body strength is necessary to try and steer the cart away from the direction the slush wants to go—most often into another parked car.

When grocery shopping, lifting the overflowing basket you told yourself you would use instead of a full cart is great for building up your arms—be sure to switch from right to left for equal amounts of time.

Loading/unloading the car and then carrying all the groceries/purchases in one trip because you’re cold and don’t want to walk back outside is great for both the upper and lower body. Be sure to throw in a few kickboxing kicks as you try and catch the door before it slams shut.

Forget the stairmaster! Going up and down the stairs to retrieve boxes of decorations, armloads of laundry and gifts you forgot that you hid will get the job done just as well.

Lifting boxes of decorations alternated with moving furniture around—no, that looks better over there. No wait, push it over there.—works both the upper and lower body.

Putting ornaments on the Christmas tree involves calf raises to reach the top, squats to bend down pick up dropped ornaments and tones the shoulders when you take the ball full of tangled lights and throw them across the room.

Running through the stores trying to avoid people you know that you don’t want to get stuck talking to because there are SO MANY PEOPLE in the store and you just want to leave is great cardio, not to mention the plyometrics involved in the starting and stopping each time.

Don’t worry about eating those baked goods, as whisking and stirring ingredients for desserts sculpts your arms, quick squats in front of the oven to bend down and check how things are baking works your legs and lunging to catch the egg before it falls off the counter works your butt.

And finally—and possibly the most important exercise of all—is power yoga, and by “power yoga” I mean lying in corpse pose on the couch for a minimum of two hours a day.

See? You’re pretty much an elite athlete at this point, so enjoy those chestnuts roasting on an open fire and another slice of pie. After all, you’ve more than earned it.

P.S. I have to add that I was overwhelmed by your replies to my last post and on my Facebook page. I’m still trying to deal with everything, but all your support honestly made this ice queen melt quite a bit. I plan on writing about it a bit more in the future, because if nothing else it’s new blog fodder. But today, just…thanks. Now go do your grocery cart glute crunches!

Want a fun holiday gift? Buy the books and cool things!

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14 responses to “How To Stay In Shape During the Holidays

  1. Golly. Now I understand why every single muscle in my aging body is so sore by Christmas night.

  2. This was great! I especially liked the grocery store ideas, since I seem to spend my entire life there.

  3. hollowtreeventures

    **cancels gym membership**
    **lies about having gym membership**

  4. Abby, fitness trainer. Love it! I’m anxiously awaiting the workout DVD. 🙂

  5. “Dashing through the snow to bring the trash bin to the end of the driveway before the truck comes in the morning.” This is my husband’s favorite. Sigh.

  6. When I read the title of this post, I was like, Wait, who is this? Tell me Abby hasn’t succumbed to the usual stay in shape over the holidays nonsense. I’m so glad to see I was wrong and that you’re back in rare form.
    Also, I got a double work out decorating the tree last weekend. So many calf raises. 😉

  7. AZVHV.wordpress.com

    Dragging the grand kids up a snow covered hill on their sleds… over… and over… and over… I don’t miss the gym at all during the holidays. Great post as usual 🙂

  8. Yea, best Personal Trainer in the world! Now I’ll just cancel christmas. Oh yes, already done 🙂

  9. I’d prefer to just redefine what my “shape” is during the holidays.

  10. Oh good! I needed an exercise plan for the holidays. I’ve gained too much weight and my muffin top is now the size of a small birthday cake. *sigh*

  11. Don’t forget the secret weapon of actually contracting the flu . . .

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