The hustle and bustle of the holidays need not keep you away from the gym. Here are five ways to get there, even when time is tight.


Enlist a workout buddy

Part of what makes going to the gym tough during the holidays is the feeling of missing out. Make a pact with a friend at the beginning of the season. When you agree to go together you benefit from camaraderie and accountability. Working out with a buddy can make fitness feel festive, or at least less lonely. Check your local fitness center for early specials. You may even get a discount for joining together. 


Have something to lose…or gain

Identify at least one clear goal. An example might be – I will go to the gym three times each week for 45 minutes. Plan in advance how you will celebrate yourself when you meet your goal. Maybe treat yourself to a new app. Alternatively, you might agree to only watch your favorite show or listen to your favorite podcast at the gym or if you meet your goal. One more option is to set up a financial consequence. If you don’t make the goal, you’ll have to give away a set amount of money.


Identify your why

Motivation is not just about going to the gym. The deeper purpose is to understand how going to the gym impacts your larger goal of improving health outcomes. Write out at least three reasons why being healthy matters to you. Post these where you can see them as a way of encouraging yourself when motivation wanes.


Honor your boundaries

Schedule time at the gym just as you would schedule other appointments. Resolve to honor your boundaries by keeping the commitments that you make to and for yourself. It can help to schedule gym visits for first thing in the morning before there are too many distractions.


Keep your clothes close

Dressing in your fitness gear can make it easier to get to the gym. If that isn’t possible, keep a gym bag on hand so you are always ready to workout. 


Getting to the gym is important all year round. During the holidays, consider it a gift you give to yourself. Exercise is the ultimate self-care. It can help you boost overall well-being and improve quality of life. That just may mean more holidays to celebrate in the long run.