Christmas Eve/Day is less than 2 weeks away. It is that time of year for holiday gatherings. For us, that begins this weekend. We are attending a Radio City Christmas show on Saturday night. Sunday my inlaws come over to celebrate Christmas with us. My sister in law lives in SC and this is the year they go down there for Christmas. So we adjust our Christmas celebration with my husband’s parents at times.

We will go by my parent’s for Christmas Eve. Christmas Day will be the three of us at our home until about 3pm. Then we will head to my aunt’s home to celebrate with my aunt’s/cousins. On the 29th we have an extended family Christmas with my family as well. On New Years Eve my parents/siblings will be coming over to celebrate both the New Year as well as mini Christmas. One of my brothers is heading to Texas for actual Christmas. His long time girlfriend is from there, so this year they are visiting her family. The celebrations go on long before and after the actual Eve/Day of Christmas. Plus, every other normal day to day activity. Teacher training for me, being at home with an almost 2 year old, Jack’s classes, taking my almost 2 year old out and about besides his 2 classes (today we head to a Children’s Museum), and my husband being the owner of a successful software company. We never stop. We are always doing a million things. ornament

I suspect we are not the only family in the world that has a holiday schedule like this. So, it is no mystery why I have been inundated with articles about how to keep your workouts during the holidays. I have seen probably 10 or more of them this week. I have to be honest. I have not read even one of them. Why? Because I do not believe there is any trick to maintaining your fitness during the holidays. I am going to be brutally honest here. You just do it. You just workout as your normally would. You find the time. If you really want to, you will. If preparing a gut busting meal is that important so is keeping to your fitness regime. I do it, and I have for many years. Even with a baby and now toddler. Maybe you wake up 30 minutes earlier, to fit it in. You do not have to do a 2 hour gym session. Squeeze in 30-60 minutes, surely we can manage that, can’t we?

I am so busy on a day to day basis, but I always make the time to workout. It is no different during the holidays. If that means Christmas dinner is at 5:30 instead of 5:00, then so be it. This year I started a cold on Thanksgiving. I still did a 40 minute Mat workout. The only exception in the last 5 or 6 years of me missing a workout around the holidays was this year on Black Friday. It was day 2 of a week long cold. I didn’t even want to be awake, but I had to go do some observation at the studio, so I went there. But I skipped any Mat or Reformer work for myself. Had I not been sick, I would have gotten up even earlier to fit in a Mat session at home. Then I would have went to the studio by 8:30am. On Saturday, I did mat work before we left for our trip to Wisconsin. I was still sick. I actually did a few Mat sessions at home while sick. I took off a couple days, which is abnormal for me, but I still fit it in a few times. Sick or busy, I still find some moments to workout.

It has to be important enough to you for you to MAKE the time to workout around the holidays. That is the only secret. You have to remember that your fitness and health are as equally as important as making sure all the gifts are wrapped under the tree.

This year, having a toddler has made things extra crazy. Here is what I have done to keep on top of things, which will make making time for my workout on our actual holiday days easier.

  • Shopping online. You can do it whenever. Amazon is my BFF. Free shipping? Often, cheaper prices? YES PLEASE
  • I have been wrapping gifts as I get them. All of my son’s gifts are wrapped and hidden in our room. I did that during nap times or after bedtime. All of the gifts for other family members? Wrapped and under the tree. I did that while he was awake. I let him “help” me. A lot of people have tape on their gifts. But it got done.
  • Workouts in the morning. That way I don’t have an I am too tired excuse by the end of the day.
  • We have already started meal planning for Christmas Eve. I know what I need to buy, 2 weeks in advance!
  • I have been cleaning the house spotless daily. Yesterday it was while Jack was still up. This way things do not get backed up.
  • I make time 5-7 days a week for Pilates. Especially my mat work. I just do it.

I really do not mean to sound preachy or witchy, but for me, this is the plain truth. I feel very passionate about this. In order to successfully stay on top of your fitness during the holidays, it has to be as equally important to you as everything else is. It is your body, your health, and your well being, so take control of that. Not to mention, exercise is a stress reliever. The holidays can be so stressful, why not be proactive and get your workout in, to help maintain a semblance of normalcy during these hectic times.