9 Tips on How to Stay Fit and Healthy During the Holidays

Time and again, we look forward to the festive season with all it has to offer. At Christmas, we indulge, we feast, we sit wrapped in cosy blankets, and we enjoy the holidays together with friends and family. But for many of us, Christmas and New Year also mean a whole lot of stress, last-minute gift shopping, tasty but unhealthy food and hardly any time for our personal needs. Here are 9 tips for sticking to your fitness routine this holiday season.


1. Schedule time for your workout.

There are so many things to do over the holidays that it’s almost too easy to fall out of your fitness routine. This makes it especially important to maintain your usual workout schedule. The best way to do this is to put your workouts in your calendar, like Christmas shopping or baking with the kids. The aim here isn’t to add to your to-do list, on the contrary – with this little trick, you intentionally give yourself the time to feel good.

If you don’t have any time for your usual routine, plan ahead each week and think about when you could make time for one of your favourite workouts. Maybe you can find 15 minutes in the morning for a yoga session or simply do 5 push-ups before lunch. 

Even if you’re visiting relatives and don’t have your usual workout equipment or your VAHA at hand, you can incorporate a few snippets of exercise into your day. With the VAHA app or a YouTube video, you can train wherever you are. It’s best to do it as soon as you get up before all the festive hustle and bustle starts!

2. Set daily targets and track your successes.

Nothing motivates you more than celebrating your milestone achievements. No matter how big or small they are. How do you do that? It’s simple: set yourself a small, achievable goal for each day. For example, walk 5,000 steps. You can also tick off these little goals with a visit to your Christmas market or during a family walk through the snow-covered forest.

With so many ways to track your fitness, these little challenges are even more fun because you can monitor your achievements easily. For example, use the health functions of your smartphone to count your daily steps and see on the VAHA how many workouts and minutes you have already exercised this week. If you have a Garmin watch and a VAHA, you can even pair the two devices and get a complete overview of your daily activities in your VAHA Journey. Seeing these results will help you stay on track.

3. Exercise with seasonal activities: get creative

Even though you might not have time or energy for your usual fitness routine during the Christmas season, there are plenty of opportunities to stay active this December. Combine your workout with a fun activity with friends or family. How about ice skating, sledging or a magical Christmas hike? Start brainstorming with your friends and be amazed by the ideas you can come up with together.

4. Train with friends

A motivation hack that always works: get your friends on board. If you train alone, you’re much more likely to skip a workout because you’re busy or just don’t feel like it. However, if you have a date with a friend, the chances are much higher that you will keep your schedule – and have even more fun during the workout. For example, meet a friend for a run in the park. Or arrange to meet other VAHA members in the VAHA Facebook community for live courses together. If you’re not part of the VAHA community yet, you can also find a fitness buddy in many online forums and arrange a virtual or in-person workout with them.


5. Drink enough water

Especially during the holiday season, we tend to drink more alcohol than usual. But no matter how delicious eggnog, Christmas punch and the likes taste – make sure you drink enough water to hydrate your body (and prevent a hangover the next day). Another benefit: we often confuse thirst with appetite and thus eat more than our body actually needs. If you drink enough water, you will also save yourself some extra calories.

Here’s how to do it: At family meals, always make sure that there is not only a glass of wine but also a glass of water in front of you and top up regularly. A refill bottle is your best friend when you’re on the go.

6. Snack healthier

Gingerbread and Christmas biscuits are delicious, but unfortunately, also packed with sugar. To change things up, you can replace them with healthier alternatives from time to time: Tangerines, nuts and currants not only taste just as good but also provide you with essential nutrients such as vitamin C, zinc and magnesium.

And we also have a healthy alternative: a festive gingerbread smoothie. Not only does it contain less sugar, but it also provides you with an extra portion of protein so that you can start your next workout with more energy.


7. Listen to your body

The most straightforward tools are often the most effective. You can avoid stress, lack of exercise or an unpleasant feeling of being too full after a meal by listening to your body. This applies to sweet treats as well as to exercise and relaxation. Even if you love biscuits and grandma’s feast is just heavenly – if we eat mindfully, our body will tell us when we’ve had enough. 

When you start listening to your body, you will also notice the right time to take a break from sitting around and go for a short walk. A brief moment of stillness can help you to connect with your body. For example, by taking a quick pause before deciding whether you want that second helping of dessert or by sensing where you are tense and allowing yourself a relieving stretch.

8. Take time to recharge

The holidays can also be quite exhausting, making it even more important to make time for yourself, regardless of the hustle and bustle. Take a short walk, pamper your body with a yoga session or unwind with a meditation session.

9. Understand your mindset

The family dinner has to be perfect, you want to have all the presents prepared as early as possible this year, and you don’t want to lose sight of your fitness goals in December. We often tend to demand too much of ourselves and then feel unhappy when we can’t live up to the expectations. Try to be less self-critical this December and laugh when things don’t go your way. After all, Christmas is about celebration and tenderness – and that’s exactly what you can focus on enjoying this time of the year.

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