So, how can you continue the healthy habits you created the rest of the year?
#1 - Make a plan! Physical activity is unlikely to happen without planning for it each and every day, particularly during this time of the year.
Exercise to maintain your weight. This is not likely the best time of year to focus your efforts on weight loss. Keeping your body moving to maintain your weight may be a more realistic expectation.
Add physical activity into your day. Plan for structured exercise just as you would the rest of the year. But if you find the time you may have normally spent at the gym is harder to come by these days consider your other options. Can you take a short walk over lunch or run up and down the stairs when you have a few spare minutes? Those little bits of movement throughout the day will not only help you to feel good, even a bit of extra calorie burn will give you an advantage when all the eating opportunities arise.
Stretch. Stretching as part of your structured exercise or simply taking the time to stretch throughout the day will help keep you feeling energized.
Take advantage of down time. If and when you do have some quiet time, use it to move instead of sit. If you are spending time in front of the TV or on the phone with a friend - step or jog in place or use some hand weights for simple strength training.
Stand whenever possible. Research shows tremendous benefits from simply standing more throughout the day. When you are at your desk, while on the phone, or if simply waiting use that time to stand rather than sit.
Socialize by moving. Social events almost always revolve around food. Instead of meeting for a drink, meet for a walk, a pickup game of basketball or a game of tennis.
Play with your kids. It can be a stressful time of year for everyone in the family. Spending time hanging out and moving with your kids will keep everyone's stress level lower.
Consider all the opportunities you have to add more movement into your day. A few minutes here and there may not seem worth the effort. But I know from personal experience and from the many clients I have worked with that not only does exercise help us to burn calories, it helps us to feel energized which allows balancing all of the rest of the challenges through the holidays just a bit easier.
What can you do today to move your body, give yourself that energy boost you may need and maintain your healthy lifestyle? Make it a priority and make it a plan. I guarantee it will be worth the effort.