The holiday season is a busy time. Between parties, shopping, family time, and crappy weather conditions, your fitness routine can seem like a low priority. Especially if you’re bored or in a rut, gym time can become naptime pretty easily this time of year. We suggest trying something new to spice it up, make it fun, and get the time in. Check it out.

Get out of the Gym.

No time for the gym? Cool, you don’t need to go! This year, why not work in a circuit of high-intensity interval training that uses your own weight as opposed to machines or plate weights? You can do it in your living room before bedtime, and since it’s new, your muscle confusion will be totally maxed out. Here’s a list of seven at home high-intensity workouts that you don’t need a piece of equipment to complete.

Go Polar.

Is it cold outside? Yes. Does that mean you should stay inside? No. Turns out there are a ton of health benefits to working out in the outdoors as the mercury falls. For example, the simple fact that your body will have to work harder to maintain core temperature means that you’re going to increase your overall caloric burn- and you don’t even have to increase your load or strain to do it! That’s like free gym time! You’ll also improve your cardiac activity, naturally increase your water consumption, and up your exposure to Vitamin D- something that dips for all of us in the cooler months. One last benefit? As your body works harder to keep you warm, it will flood your bloodstream with endorphins. That leads to a happier version of yourself who is better armed to manage the stress of the holiday season.

Mix it Up.

Muscle confusion is the best way to keep things fresh and forward moving in any fitness journey. The holidays are an easy time to set up a workout challenge that targets new goals. If you get started by mid-November, you’ll have a good 6-8 week period to try something new. It’s almost as if the holiday season was built around a circuit reset. If you’ve been lifting and working on toning, this is a great time to switch to cardio interval training. Conversely, if you’ve been working on endurance cardio training, take six weeks to really focus on weight training. Try a new intramural sport or fitness class. The mental break from your standard routine will be enough to keep you motivated, and you may just find a new discipline that you want to explore further. And hey, if you don’t love it, it’s over as soon as the season passes, like your own little New Year’s resolution to yourself!

Of course, we need to say it, you’ll also want to keep an eye on your nutrition this time of year. The holidays seem to revolve around food, rich food at that, and the societal demand to eat it all. You can’t outrun a bad diet, so make sure you’re minding what you eat as you progress through this holiday season.

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