How to indulge and stay active during the holidays


Fit Santa

The months of November, December and January include several holidays celebrated with family, festivities and (rich) foods. Let’s focus on adding fitness to the mix by allowing each holiday (not ‘days’) to be what it is intended to be … a time to be thankful, celebrate and prepare for good things to come. 

Our health and fitness journey is not made or lost on these specific days. We can create, maintain and improve our health and fitness on the days in-between celebrations. Overeating or not exercising one day does not mean our health and fitness gains are out the window, just like exercising or eating well for one day does not make us the picture of perfect health. The consistency of our choices regarding eating and activity determine the success of our journey. Here are some strategies to keep us on track.

Let go of perfect.

You won’t lose previous gains from one missed workout. However, research shows that 10 weeks of training adaptations can be lost after going six days without exercise.  

  • Action plan: Identify a strategy to limit missed workouts.  
  • Strategy: Plan ahead; block workout time in your calendar. Don’t give up if you stumble!

Forget your normal routine, if necessary, but be active.

Research shows that a minimum ‘dose’ of activity to maintain weight and cardiometabolic health equates to one mile a day.  

  • Action plan: Identify activities that can give you at least the minimum ‘dose’ of activity.
  • Strategy: Walk, climb the stairs multiple times a day, march in place during commercials, try an outdoor activity such as cross country skiing or snowshoeing, or even explore a new location. If you’re in South Bend, there are numerous parks and a giant lakeshore not too far away!

Focus on what you CAN DO, not what you CAN’T do. 

Be creative about solutions to overcome barriers. 

Barrier Strategy

Download a fitness app and work out indoors.


Fit in short bursts of activity (30 seconds to 10 minutes multiple times each day). Activity does not have to happen in 30 to 60 minutes blocks of time to be beneficial. All activity adds up during the day.


You have a body and gravity, therefore you have a gym. Do bodyweight exercises such as squats, pushups, planks and jumping jacks.

Identify five exercises and when you need to move. Blast each of them for 30 seconds. 

Click here to learn proper form and how to progress the exercise safely.

  • Jumping jacks
  • Lunges
  • Planks
  • Pushups
  • Squats

Utilize easy-to-access resources.

  • RecSports Virtual Fitness Classes – RecSports is providing a variety of free virtual fitness classes taught by your favorite instructors over the Winter Session.
  • Wellbeats Provided by RecSports, Wellbeats offers unlimited streaming access to on-demand fitness classes.
  • Fitness trackers Wearable technology was the top 2020 fitness trend according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
  • Fitness apps There are both free and paid apps available through various app stores.

Enjoy and celebrate the special days and use strategies to support your choices that make the celebrations possible! Contact Jennie Phillips, assistant director of fitness and fitness facilities at RecSports, if you have questions regarding your fitness journey.