Fitness is never more important than during the holidays when you eat more, workout less and let yourself relax from a regular schedule. Despite all the distractions, you can stay on track. With a few small changes and a willingness to make time for fitness, you can stay fit and healthy, going into the New Year proud of yourself.

Modify Your Routine

When I say modify, I mean – don’t throw it out all together. That’s the worst thing you can do this time of year. Instead, you need to modify it to fit around your busy schedule, that’s now filled with holiday parties and family events.

For example, if you normally work out after work, but have parties three days this week, plan to work out on your lunch break or in the morning before you get to the office. When you show up to the party after work you’ll feel better knowing you made time for exercise and now you can enjoy good food and good friends.

Need some quick workout options? Try:

A power-circuit: Squats, jumping jacks, burpees, high knees, pushups and walk outs – 3 rounds of 10 each. This quick circuit, which you can do in your bedroom, living room or even a hotel room, is better than no workout at all.

Interval run: The treadmill is your friend during the holidays. Do high-intensity intervals to burn the most in a short amount of time. You have two options:

  • Tabata: Warm up for 5 minutes, and then move into a sprint so fast that you can’t talk, think 10.0, for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Do this for four minutes, walk for 3 to 5 minutes and do it again.
  • Minute intervals: Warm up for 5 minutes, and then run, changing speeds from 6.0 to 7.0 and 6.5 to 7.5, for a minute each; do this for 20 to 30 minutes.

Keep Your Nutrition on Track

Part of your holiday fitness routine is handling the large amounts of food that come after a kick-butt workout. Knowing how to handle it is key to making your workouts count.

The worst thing you can do is show up to a big party, with lots of food, without a plan of what you want to eat and what you should eat. Though you may not know what will be sitting on the buffet table when you arrive, you can plan ahead so no matter what it is, you’re ready to make a healthy choice.

Bring a dish: Bring a salad, a veggie platter or roasted vegetables; items you know would make your meal healthier, no matter what else is there. When you bring it, you almost feel obliged to eat it, so this is a great way to guarantee a healthy option that you’ll definitely eat.

Choose one of each: Go in with a plan to try a little of each item, instead of loading up on a few unhealthy things. Variety helps to satisfy you mentally, so you feel full and content even if you only had a small amount of food.

Start with a smoothie: On the day of a big party, start your morning with a vegetable-heavy smoothie. This way you can be sure you’re getting a large serving of vegetables regardless of what you eat that night. In your big day smoothie put:

  • A handful of kale
  • A stick of celery
  • A small carrot
  • A ½ cup of mixed berries
  • A banana
  • ¼ of organic, 100% fruit juice
  • Water
  • Chia seeds
  • Ice cubes

Blend it up and drink it down; aim to drink an entire 12-oz glass which will fill you up.

Keep your fitness routine on track with a few simple changes and a game plan for how you’ll handle the parties, the crazy schedule and the never ending buffet tables.