It's that time of year, the time of year that workouts can sometimes get tossed to the back-burner. With holiday parties and gatherings, Christmas shopping and wrapping, school concerts and everything in between, taking the time to move your body for a few minutes can become an afterthought. Many of us start getting in the mindset that we will just take the rest of the year off and start up fresh when the new year begins. But, why not keep your momentum to move going through the end of the year?!

If you can allow yourself just twenty or thirty minutes of exercise daily or at a minimum a few times per week, you will feel better, have less holiday stress and head into the new year feeling more refreshed and energized. Let's work together to keep our mindsets positive, keep our bodies moving through the hustle and bustle of the season and I promise we will all be better for it!

Today I am sharing a few tips that you can use this holiday season to get a few minutes of exercise daily, keep holiday stress in check and maybe feel a little less guilt for the Christmas cookies that are soon to be baked and enjoyed.

  • Commit to yourself.
    Make a commitment to yourself that you will continue to exercise through the holiday season. Things will inevitably come up but if you make working out a priority and a promise to yourself that you'll do it, you are more likely to see it through. You are worth it and what better gift to give yourself than taking care of you and treating your body right.

  • Schedule your exercise.
    If you are like me, if it isn't scheduled in my calendar than I am less likely to remember to do it or get it done. Same goes for workouts. Schedule in time to workout in your daily calendar. If it is easier for you to get up first thing before the day gets going, pencil in time to exercise in the morning. Alternatively, if you rather go after work, still put it in your calendar and then don't go home until the workout is done. Commit it to your schedule and make the time a priority.

  • Park and walk.
    More than likely, you will be visiting the mall this holiday season. Take advantage of the fact that everybody else is doing the exact same thing and don't even try to shark around the lot for a front row parking spot. Park in the back row and enjoy the walk. Every little bit of extra exercise counts even if it is walking in the mall to go shopping. And, for that matter, shopping sometimes can count as cardio too!

  • Try a new exercise class.
    Use these last few weeks of the year as a reason to try one new exercise class before the end of 2018. If you belong to a gym, look up the group exercise schedule and find a class you've never been to before and give it a try. Even if you don't belong to a gym, you can find different workouts on Beachbody or Les Mills On Demand (if you have those), YouTube or Amazon Prime. Find something new and have fun!

  • Workout at home.
    Similar to the above, don't use the excuse that it is too cold to not make it to the gym. No gym, too cold, snowed problem! You don't need fancy equipment to get in a great workout. Keep reading for some at-home workout ideas.

  • Do a seven-minute workout.
    Case in point...the seven-minute workout. I'm a big fan if you didn't already know. You can do this with no weights or fancy fitness gadgets. You just need a stopwatch and a positive attitude. It's simple...30 seconds of exercise followed by 15 seconds of rest until you reach 7 minutes. The fun part is you can pick your exercises and make it unique each time...jumping jacks, squats, plank, burpees, air punches, the idea list goes on. Make it a seven-minute workout focused on cardio, abs, legs, etc or a combination. Do one, two or three different seven-minutes and you will have completed a great workout.

  • Have fun with a Christmas movie workout.
    You can search on Pinterest and get a ton of ideas for a Christmas movie workout. They have them for Elf, Christmas Vacation, Home Alone and several others. For example, when you are watching Elf, anytime someone says 'Christmas cheer', do five squats.

  • Yoga, stretch, breathe, meditate.
    This is the perfect time of year to get your yoga and mindfulness on. I absolutely love this season as it is so fun and exciting, but it can be stressful. Find the time to do some yoga, stretch, breathe and get your mind right. Yes, even sitting quietly or slowly stretching and breathing counts towards your overall fitness routine. In fact, it is encouraged! You should still get in a few sweat sessions but let this count all the same.

  • Don't be too hard on yourself.
    Above all, don't be too hard on yourself. If you aren't getting in the workouts you are accustomed to because of a busy time of year, don't stress out over it. As long as you are still moving and fitting in something, you are doing the right thing. If you have to sacrifice the hour long group fitness class because of another holiday commitment, maybe just do twenty or thirty minutes of cardio using the treadmill or elliptical. You can still get in a few minutes and be proud for the work that you put in.

This truly is the most wonderful time of the year and I'm excited to end 2018 feeling as strong and fit as ever. You'll find me sticking to my weekly workout routine through the end of this year. Though it may ebb and flow with different holiday commitments, I'm looking forward to seeing this year through and allowing my workouts to help alleviate any holiday stress and anxiety that may occur.