Maintaining a regular running schedule is hard enough, but throw in some parties, shopping, food preparation, out-of-town guests, and other holiday craziness, and it may seem near impossible to find time for runs. Follow these tips to make sure you keep running during the holiday season:
Schedule your runs.
Your calendar gets more packed during the holiday season, but you should try to make running a priority. Take a look at your week and write down when you think you’ll be able to squeeze in runs, just like you would other appointments. If you have runs scheduled, you’re more likely to get them done. Plan some runs on Mondays – it will give you a confidence and motivation boost for the rest of the week.
Don’t let cold weather be an excuse.
Running can be enjoyable and really invigorating in the colder weather, as long as you’re prepared with the proper winter running clothes and follow tips for making cold weather runs more comfortable.
Be prepared with a home workout.
Create a home workout routine for those times you can’t make it to the gym. You can set up a home gym without spending a lot of money. And exercises such as crunches, push-ups, and others can be done without any gym equipment. Running up and down the stairs is a great cardio workout.
Be flexible with your schedule.
Your days get busier during the holiday season, so you may need to make changes to your regular running routine. If you normally run after work, but you have a holiday party to attend in the evening, wake up an hour early and go for a run before work.
Redefine your workout.
Prepare to be flexible about the time and distance of your runs, too. Remember that a 20-minute run is better than skipping your run altogether, so don’t miss your run just because you won’t have time to run what you had originally planned. Even doing a very short run will help you maintain your running habit through the holidays.
Run a holiday race.
There are lots of fun races during the holiday season, from turkey trots to jingle bell runs. Find a race near you (Active.com is a great site to look for local races) and put it on your calendar. Having an upcoming race will keep you motivated to continue running. Try to recruit some friends and family, too, so you can have a fun holiday outing together. You may even want to get decked out in some turkey trot running apparel and accessories or an ugly Christmas sweater running shirt!
Don’t sweat a missed run.
Try not to don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have time or energy for a run. Just because you missed a run, don’t use it as an excuse to throw in the towel and forget about your workout plans during the holiday season. Get right back with your program, forget about your missed run, and move on.
Also see: 9 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain