How to Stay Fit During the Holidays

The holidays can be difficult for those who are trying to prioritize their health. Not only is it cold outside in most parts of the country–making outdoor exercise less enticing–but there are typically also treats and not-so-good-for-you foods galore. As such, staying fit during the holidays can be challenging. However, there are things that you can do to keep your health in check, even when tempted by candy canes and caramels–


It is cold out, and walking outside may be the last thing that you want to do. But walking is one of the best forms of exercise there is, with multiple studies highlighting the benefits of walking (weight management, disease prevention, mood improvement, etc.). And what’s more, walking in the cold weather has some benefits too; when you expose your body to cold, it generates brown fat, which is a type of metabolically active fat that burns to create heat. Being cold increases your body’s energy expenditures, which can have multiple health benefits.

If it is truly impossible for you to do any sort of exercise outside and you need to go easier on your joints, consider swimming. Many pools offer a class schedule for you to consider if doing laps is not for you.

Exercise With A Friend

Walking or exercising with a friend can be more fun and challenging. It may also help to keep you on track for reaching your goals. If you set a time to meet up with someone, it is harder to make excuses for not showing up! Take before and after pictures to track your progress and if you are comfortable with it, share that with others.

Be Conscious of Eating

If your favorite holiday treats are around you, it can be really hard to resist them. So instead of resisting every yummy thing you see, try to be conscious of your eating and set some limits. You do not have to say no to treats, but you should try to consume an amount that is reasonable, and won’t leave you feeling bad (either guilt about ruining your diet, or a sugar crash from consuming too much of the white stuff at once). We have probably all heard it, “Everything in moderation!”. If you know you are going to have a more hearty dinner, eat lighter during the day.

Monitor Your Mental Health

The holidays can be stressful, and stress produces cortisol. Too much cortisol leads to inflammation, weight gain, and even disease. As such, part of your goal to be fit and healthy should include paying attention to your mental health. If you are feeling stressed, do some stress-alleviation exercises, such as meditation, yoga, exercise, mandala coloring or writing.

During the holiday season, staying fit may feel impossible. In truth, however, being fit is very possible with a little effort and simply paying attention to what your body needs. If you pick up some healthy habits during the holiday season, hopefully they can continue into the new year.

Napoli Shkolnik PLLC wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!