We get it. The time between Thanksgiving and New Years is one of the hardest times to stick to your fitness routine. It can be tempting to brush off your sports performance training session or group class to concentrate on extra servings of mashed potatoes, lazy mornings and visiting family and friends. Here are a few of our favorite simple ways to stay active, hold onto your fitness, and still have fun and spend time with friends during the holiday season.
1. Challenge a Buddy to a New Workout Goal
Strength in numbers! Working out with a friend or partner is both motivating and helps keep you accountable. Not only are you less likely to skip workouts, but you will automatically push yourself a little harder with an added morale boost. For couples, this sweat time together is actually shown to strengthen relationships – not muscles – so think about making your next “date” a gym session. You can also add a friendly competitive element by challenging your friend or partner to any number of fitness goals, who can hold a plank the longest, hit 1,000 meters on the rower the fastest, hit the most feet in a minute on the VersaClimber – loser grabs smoothies…or holiday drinks, however, you want to balance it out. 😉
2. Take it Outside and Hit the Trails
There is no doubt about it, being out in nature just soothing for the soul, which can be especially great during the holidays when things can get a little chaotic. Counteract your never-ending to-do list with an escape into nature. Whether you choose to walk or run, solo or with a friend or family, we guarantee the fresh air will keep you feeling happy and healthy and – reduce any anxiety and holiday-related stress. There are some great hikes in North County, here are some of our favs – Torrey Pines, Batiquitos Lagoon, Mount Woodson, Calle Barcelona, Iron Mountain, and Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve. A little added incentive – hills are great calorie burners. In fact, walking on a steep incline can actually burn double the calories as running on flat ground, so don’t shy away from a little elevation.
3. Hit the Slopes
Skiing and snowboarding are not only a fun change of scenery but also a great workout. Just take a look at NAKOA’s very own badass pro snowboard chick, Helen Schettini. Even if you can’t manage 50-foot drops or massive air like Helen, you’ll be while enjoying the mountains and burning a few extra calories before the rush of holiday shopping hits. Mammoth Mountain recently opened for the season and Big Bear Mountain Resorts will be open when conditions permit. Even a leisurely run on the ski slopes can boost your cardiovascular endurance, help strengthen your joints and give you an endorphin boost. Skiing can burn an impressive 500 calories an hour – snowboarding clocks in around 450, just in case you want to mix it up. So pack your bags and head to Big Bear or Mammoth for a day or short weekend trip before holiday engagements fill your calendar.
4. Paddle Off the Pounds
Obviously, we have a ton of great surf breaks here in North County and a sunset surf sesh could be the perfect refreshing boost keeping you active. However, if you’re not quite up to brave the cold water, try opting for a stand-up paddle boarding session. This awesome sport not offers a great total body workout, but also provides a great means for social interaction at the same time. Hit up the Carlsbad Lagoon (they offer rentals!) for a more relaxed SUP session or up the intensity and instability by venturing out into the ocean. Give your core a run for its money.
Regardless of how many thanksgivings, friends-givings, holiday parties, family get-togethers, holiday happy hours you hit this holiday season, we guarantee that a little extra fitness will go a long way to help keep you feeling good this time of year. We are here to help in any way we can, so whether you’re working out at NAKOA or getting your heart rate up out in nature, you can always find plenty of support and motivation on our end encouraging you along the way.
Photo credit: alltrails.com