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No Excuses: 5 Tips to Make Time to Exercise Over the Holidays

As the end of the year approaches, the holiday madness has begun and it's time to boost your dedication to fitness if you want to avoid packing on any extra pounds this season. Between your busy social calendar and the indulgences that are as much a part of the season as the lights and carols, you've certainly got your work cut out for you. To make the most of every spare moment this holiday season, use these tips to squeeze in a workout.

woman preparing for workout
Photo by shutterstock.

Use Your Calendar

You live and die by your calendar in every other aspect of your life, so why should your fitness be any different? Make sure you keep up with your workouts by scheduling them in your smartphone calendar just like all of your Christmas parties and appointments.

Determine what time of day works best and stick to it. While some find a gym session the perfect way to end a long day at the office, others would rather not have the task looming over them all day and would rather check this item of the daily to-do list first thing in the morning.

Keep Your Routine Flexible

Sure, that hot yoga studio you love has a pretty addictive workout, but if you're going to be traveling at all over the holidays, it'll be hard to maintain your practice with consistency while you're out of town. Instead incorporate a mix of cardio, weight lifting and classes like cycling and yoga, to offer a well-balanced workout that you can accomplish anywhere you travel. Join a gym with locations across the country so you have one less excuse to skip your workouts while you're on the road for Christmas. By increasing accessibility and varying your workouts, your routine will be flexible enough that you won't have any excuse not to get out and burn off that mulled wine and pumpkin pie.

Add in HIIT

Are you so busy that you feel like there's no time to squeeze in an hour at the gym? With high-intensity interval training (HIIT), a lack of time is no excuse; most HIIT sequences can be completed in less that 15 minutes. The best part: the majority of the workouts don't even require equipment, so you can do them anywhere, whether that's in your grandma's living room or on the beach while on a New Year's holiday. Check out the 12-Minute Athlete's recommendations for the best holiday HIIT workouts.

Make the Most of Your Chores

Housework is no excuse to skip a workout. Work up a sweat while cleaning the house by finding ways to exercise at least one muscle group during each chore. Do lunges while vacuuming to tighten your glutes. Do a few sets of standing push-ups against your kitchen countertops as you're wiping them down. Tone your tummy while folding laundry by sitting next to a basket full of clean clothes and twist at the waist to pick up each item, one-by-one to fold it. Move the basket to the other side once it's half empty to balance your efforts.

Stay Committed with a Friend

The good old-fashioned buddy system is an easy way to stay committed to your fitness goals through the end of the year. Not only will this help get you to the gym and keep you accountable, but it's also ideal bonding time which is often scarce with the many time commitments during the holiday season.

Allison Wilkinson is a WAHM, an explorer, an amateur chef and a fitness buff. You can find her Instagramming photos of her (adorable) son or researching everything from the latest parenting theories to healthy hacks for desserts.