It’s that wonderful time of year again. The holidays are right around the corner and plans are starting to be made. With so many of these festivities revolving around food and leaving little time for exercise, we’ve put together a list of easy ways to keep fit and active that can squeeze right into your busy schedule.

Be Prepared

Having a plan can really help to keep you on track. Try exercising in the morning for a stress reliever and then you can dedicate nighttime for your holiday parties. If going to a party, bring a healthy dish or eat a light meal before you go to resist temptations. If you’re traveling to see your family, see if there is a local gym, trail to walk, or if you’re at a hotel see if it has a gym.

Hydrate

As much as we love Auntie’s secret punch, we mean water. Typically the recommended amount of water a day is 8, 8 ounce glasses or 64 ounces a day. Water will help to not only keep your body functioning properly, but helps to hedge of some of the food cravings.

Be Creative with Exercise

You don’t need a formal gym setting to exercise. There are many workouts you can do without equipment and with little space or time. Try sit-ups, squats, jumping jacks, or calf raises to get that heart pumping. Not feeling like a workout? Park a little farther out in the parking lot or volunteer to shovel the snow off the sidewalk. Too cold? Take an extra lap at the mall or grocery store.

Experiment with Recipes

Comfort foods tend to be the mainstays of holiday meals. Try searching online for new “skinny” recipes that other people have tried and can verify they taste good. You can also make healthier versions of your favorite recipes, by swapping out different ingredients for a better option. You might want to do a test run though if you’re making it for a crowd in case the recipe doesn’t quite turn out!

Join In

Whether it be an office party or a family party, participate in the activities even if it’s with the kids. Being active can be fun you know! Have some downtime while food is being prepared, ask to help in the kitchen or invite family members to go on a walk. If you’re really bold, round up the gang and get a friendly game of touch football going. Be careful though, there’s something about holiday football that brings out the competitive side in people.

 And remember…the holidays are the time to spend with friends and family. Don’t stress too much about fitting in exercise or eating an extra cookie (or two). It’s ok to splurge a little, it’s the holidays after all!