Ten Ways to Stay Fit Over the Holidays

Ways to stay fit over the holidays

Although it might not be a jolly and festive month for everyone due to the health and economic collapse from the pandemic we are currently experiencing, to some, 'tis is still the season for roasted turkeys, eggnog, peppermint mochas, baked wild salmon, butter tarts, and chocolate crinkle cookies. If the thought of the holiday makes you cringe from all the sugar and carbs or has you crossing physical activity or regular exercise off your list, then it might be a good time to find other ways to stay fit over the holidays.

Ten ways to stay fit over the holidays

So, here are some tips to get a little creative with your fitness regimen this season.

1. Have a plan

Start each day with a plan. Why? Because there's nothing worse than feeling like you are not achieving your goal. Having a plan, whether workoutrelated or caloric intake limits, provides you with a structure that won't leave you wondering what to do next, or when to stop, and when to schedule your brisk walking habits. Workout plans will also remind you what or which exercises your doctor or your healthcare provider told you to do, how many sets a day, how many repetitions, and so on.

closeup photo of turned on iPad with rack on table

It could also serve as a guide so you can track your food intake in addition to your daily activity level. Doing so makes you aware of how many calories you’ve taken in from eating certain foods.

Even if you decide to reward yourself this holiday by eating higher-caloric foods, you will probably be able to adjust and eat in smaller portions after the holidays if you have a plan to stay within your target body shape or fitness level.

2. Eat smart

The holidays are not just filled with gifts, family traditions, but also with yummy, mouth-watering festive food. And you know what? Study shows that most adults usually gain extra weight over the holiday season. But, it’s okay — because it is possible to enjoy meals and at the same time, make healthy decisions.

For instance, if you think your body needs certain nutrients like protein, then maybe you could write meal plans with adequate proteins over the holidays. If instead you need to keep your hormones in balance, try some recipes that can help you maintain your hormone levels.


When we say eat smart, we also mean avoiding foods that are not good for your health or minimizing unnecessary sweets.

In short, Be in charge of your food party choices.

Consume healthy foods and beverages during dinners or Christmas and new year parties. If you are joining a pot-luck, bring a healthy appetizer like pre-cut fruits, or raw veggies, and possibly homemade whole-wheat pita chips with a hummus dip or Greek yogurt, instead of donuts or other sweets. Try some guacamole or a fruit salad.By doing this,  you and your loved ones or friends will know that there are healthy options at the dinner table. 

3. Prepare smart

Besides consuming healthy foods and beverages, there are other ways to stay fit during the holidays. You can use smaller plates (or spoons!) to reduce and control the amount of food you eat. 

meat on chopping board

You can also try to avoid using heavy sauces made from cream as well as gravy and high-fat meats (like meatballs, pigs-in-blankets, sausages, fried chicken wings, or fatty cuts of pork, beef, and lamb).

Aside from these, it might be a good option to prepare nutritious drinks instead of sodas so it can be easier for you to avoid drinking too many calories. Holiday beverages, whether alcoholic or not, can contain high sugar levels and overall calories. And like using smaller plates, you can also use  smaller drinking glasses to make it easier for you to limit yourself in drinking beverages with high sugar or caloric content. Better yet, consider having lower calorie option drinks such as tea, flavoured water, or wine (as long as you are allowed to). And, no matter what, make sure that you drink plenty of water!

4. Get moving!

You know it. One of the most effective and cheaper ways to maintain body weight and to remain fit is to engage in a regular physical activity. And if you plan to treat yourself with yummy desserts this season, in order to burn extra calories, you might wanna turn up your exercise routine too. If you walk daily for 10 minutes a day, you should consider increasing it to 15 or 20 minutes. If you exercise for two times a week, you can probably move it up to 3 to 4 times a week to compensate with the extra calories you plan to get or had during the holiday season. But, before starting any or increasing the intensity or frequency of your exercise program, remember that it’s always best to talk with your doctor.

5. Don’t give in to temptation

Control is one of the keys to stay fit over the holidays. If you can avoid even the slightest chance of being close with “tempting” food or drinks, you can effectively reduce your calorie intake. It might be hard, especially in various situations, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible.

brown round medication pill on clear glass jar

For example, do you keep cookie or candy jar at your living room table or workspace or on the kitchen counter? Are your holiday goodies always within your sight? Whether these goodies are for you or for your kids, it might be best to keep them in places that are less accessible. This way, you won’t be tempted to pop in candies into your mouth every now and then. If you love to bake, make sure to do it in small amounts for you and your family so you won’t be tempted to eat more because you are avoiding to waste food. And if you receive food or high caloric drinks as a gift, do not consume them all in one sitting. 

6. Never go to any party or family dinners hungry

kid sitting beside round cake close-up photography

Before you go to a your friends house or attend a family party, eat a healthy snack. It could be a slice or two of your favourite fruit or few pieces of nuts. Because if you approach the dining table hungry, chances are, you'll get more food than what you should.

7. Be aware of healthy food options

flat-lay photography of assorted-variety of stir fried and vegetable foods

When you arrive at the party, assess your hunger and don’t rush mindlessly to fill up your plate. Start by taking a look at all the food options and don’t take all that’s available. Becoming aware of all the options (both the healthy and not) will help you make more mindful food choices.

8. Learn to say no politely

Why You Need ‘Say No’ Days

There will be times when you’ll be offered to eat foods or drinks when visiting friends or relatives. They‘ll either ask you to taste some new recipe or they might keep putting something in your plate. But don’t be shy to say no politely if you think you have too much or just ask to take a small portion. Stick to your daily calorie intake plans and learn to say no politely.

9. Do not focus on food, socialize!

It might be best not to stand near the food table during family dinners. Instead, talk to your relatives and get out and mingle with your friends. After all, conversation is calorie-free! Also, avoid sitting too much. Instead, try to stand more as it burns more calories. Maybe offer help to clean up (because that burns even more calories!)

10. Enjoy yourself!

While it is important to be active and limiting calorie intake as appropriate, it is essential that you are still enjoying meals. Make sure to set and follow realistic diet plans! Don't overdo dieting. Trying to restrain yourself totally from eating some foods will only make you eat and crave for more. Feel free to enjoy your favourite snacks or meals or the treats that you really love once in a while, but in small portions.

Stay fit and stay healthy

Just because life gets, well, challenging because of the current health issue we are facing or the busyness in ticking off the to-do-list during the holidays, we are not supposed to fall off the fitness wagon.

With a little bit of cautiousness, careful planning, and a whole lot of flexibility, you can maintain your workout program and feel your absolute best.

Exercises to stay fit and stay healthy

Here are some easy exercises that you can add to your resolution list to stay fit and healthy:

Abs Exercises for Women Over 40

Want to tone your abs? Watch the video below: 


If you are a middle-aged woman and you want to rid some of the belly fat by doing exercises as part of your new year resolution, we’ve got you covered. Just follow the instructions above and learn the best way to redefine your core and get those abs that you desire!

Exercises for your hand and fingers

Here are exercises to improve your hand and finger flexibility: 

Interlaced Fingers

Interlaced fingers is a simple hand-finger exercise. As the name suggests, you just have to keep your fingers interlaced. But, to improve your hand-finger flexibility, you have to stretch your arms out while keeping your fingers interlaced and with your palms facing opposite you. You can also try to raise your palms up toward the ceiling, still with your fingers interlaced. Keep that position for about 10 to 20 seconds, if you can tolerate. Repeat for two to three sets or perform twice in a day as desired.

Palm Down Stretch

This is an exercise which is almost the same as the previous exercise explained above. However instead of keeping your palms pointing upward, you point in a downward direction.

Here is how you perform a palm down stretch to strengthen your hand, wrist, and fingers using this exercise. 

Start by keeping your dominant hand out in front of you. Then, bend your wrist as if you are keeping your fingers pointing down and with your palm facing towards you. As you keep one of your hands stretched and fingers pointing down, use your non-dominant hand to put pressure on the fingers of your dominant hand. Do it as if you are helping your dominant hand to bend more towards you. It shouldn't feel painful, but you will feel a bit of a stretch on your wrist. If you feel pain, stop immediately. If not, hold that position for about 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat with the other hand.

Palm Up Stretch

This exercise is the exact opposite of the previous exercise, as the name implies--the palm down stretch. To perform this, start by reaching your dominant hand out in front of you. Assume a gesture as if you are signaling someone to stop. Do this by simply keeping your palm facing out with the fingers pointing up. Then, place your non-dominant hand across the other, with your palms touching each other. After that, gently pull your fingers back (towards you), using your non-dominant hand. As you do that, you should feel a stretch on your dominant hand like you are bending it back. Hold that position for about 10 to 15 seconds, and then repeat with your other hand.

Passive wrist extension

This exercise called passive wrist extension is not just for the wrist. In order to perform this, you also need to have a good elbow and shoulder mobility. You must have the ability to keep your elbow into a straight position.

See the video below for a quick overview on how to do the exercise:



To perform this exercise, stand in front of a flat wall. Then, place the palm of your hand directly against the wall and higher than your head. Keep your palm flat in a straight position and keep your elbow extended. Now, while keeping your elbow straight, slowly glide your hand in a downward motion. The farther you go down the wall, the more wrist extension you will feel and achieve. Once you get to a position where you feel a stretch in your wrist or arm, stop and hold that position for five seconds. After that, relax by either taking your hand off of the wall gently and slowly or simply bend your elbow when you are ready to repeat the exercise on the other arm or wrist.

Remember that it is important to keep your elbows straight when you do this exercise. If you bend your elbow, it won’t be effective as you are taking off the wrist in extension.

Prayer Pose

The prayer pose is one of the easiest, yet not so popular exercise that can strengthen the arm and wrist, as well as improve finger flexibility. As the name implies, all you have to do is assume a praying position. Do this by simply pressing the palms of your hands together at the level of your chest. Make sure your elbows are pointing straight out to your sides. Then, gently and slowly lower your hands down while maintaining the prayer position to about the height of your waist. Once you feel a stretch on your wrist, stay in that position for about 10 to 15 seconds.

You can also learn how to do a prayer pose stretch by watching the video below:


For more exercises that you can do at home, read our article on Simple Exercises to Try While Staying at Home

Why is it important to be fit?

Perhaps you already know the answer, but, let us say it again. It is vital to remain fit or physically active because of many health reasons.

It can improve your health

Physical activity or exercise can effectively improve your health. Research suggests that it can even have immediate and long-term health benefits. 

It can reduce the risk of developing several diseases

Study shows that there is a link between being physically fit and reduced risk of certain health conditions. Researchers also found evidence that regular activity can reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, some forms of cancer, and cardiovascular disease

It can improve your quality of life

Being fit contributes to health and wellness. Most importantly, fitness has also been associated with improving quality of life.

Medical Disclaimer: Please Read!

This article on various ways to stay fit, including all the images, links, texts, and other documents are for informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace or be a substitute for any professional medical advice, diagnosis, recommendations, or treatment. 

We strongly recommend to follow the suggestions and orders of your primary physician or healthcare provider. If you have other questions regarding a medical condition or other matters concerning your health, do not rely solely on this post, but instead, book an appointment with your healthcare provider. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice due to something you have read from any of the articles.

In case of emergency

If you think that you may be experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately, contact your primary physician, or go to the nearest emergency centre as soon as possible.

Applied Science Nutrition does not recommend or suggest any specific physicians, products, tests, procedures, opinions, or other related information that may be mentioned on this website. 

Reliance on any of the information provided by this website, including links to various case studies, educational sites, research, and other content is solely at your own risk.

Images from:

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  • https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2020/02/why-you-need-say-no-days