By Kaity Wachtel, regional fitness educator, Orangetheory 

The holiday season is upon us. That means it’s time to gather with family and friends to focus on what matters most.

Despite the excitement and joy that the holiday season brings, schedules are very busy and may be stressful. This can lead people to stray from health and fitness routines, especially with all the delicious food that will inevitably be present at the Christmas tables. Not only is working out great for maintaining a healthy weight, it also has mental health benefits. Taking one hour for oneself can be extremely important if the holidays bring stressors.

Kaity Wachtel is offering five tips to maintain a consistent workout regimen and kick-start a fitness routine before the new year. Orangetheory Fitness is a national group fitness concept with several studio locations in Indiana, including Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, Geist, Broad Ripple, Bloomington, Greenwood and Avon.

1. Find a happy medium with your fitness regimen.
It’s important to recognize that if you’re overtraining or undertraining during a workout, you likely won’t see the results you want. Find a routine with a happy medium, where you’re going at your own pace, but also challenging yourself when necessary.

This is especially true during an Orangetheory class, as the workouts are interval based with specific goals for each set interval. Participants are encouraged by certified coaches to push themselves at certain points during the workout, but also to keep in mind what their specific personal limitations are.

2. Fuel yourself before and after a workout.
Within 30 minutes after a workout, fuel your body with the protein it needs to recover. It’s also important to drink enough water and to get electrolytes into your system. In fact, according to Medical News Today, electrolytes are vital for the normal functioning of the human body.

If you’re working out later in the afternoon or evening, take the time to eat properly throughout your day, prior to your workout.

3. Find the time to make yourself a priority.
One of the most common excuses associated with working out is that people don’t have enough time, especially with the demands of the holiday season. Orangetheory Fitness is an efficient total body workout that has you in and out in 60 minutes. If you only have one hour to yourself, make sure to use it wisely. If you don’t have an hour, take a brisk walk on your lunch break or incorporate squats when standing up from your desk.

Any time that you can look at simple movements that you execute in daily life – like getting up and down from your office chair, or walking, as a form of working out – this will benefit you.

The holidays can also be a source of stress, so it’s important to make your mental health a priority during this time. If you choose to set aside an hour to work out, this is only four percent of your entire day. Use this hour to unplug and focus on you.

4. Keep up with healthy habits.
Fitness is a routine and a lifestyle choice. It’s not working out January through March, and then quickly falling back into old, unhealthy habits. This can be especially difficult during the holidays, as people use this time to take a break from daily routines, including fitness. The longer this break lasts, the longer it will take to recover. For example, if you take a week off, it will take two weeks to make up the gains you’ve previously made. If you take two months off during November and December, it will take you until April to get back on track.

You can certainly indulge in the tempting sweets that make the holidays special, but consider also adding in some clean eats throughout your day, like fruits and vegetables. Keeping up with that balance will only benefit you when you consider your longer-term goals.

5. Find a fitness routine that works best for you.
One of the best ways to keep up with your health is to find that unique routine that works best for you. Find a community that keeps you motivated during the holidays, whether that’s a group fitness class like Orangetheory, or a gym that you belong to with friends. A large reason why our members choose Orangetheory is because of this community mentality and family atmosphere, pushing everyone in the studio to do their best.

This holiday season, keep in mind that even a small amount of exercise is better than nothing at all. Your body will thank you for finding the time to make your health a top priority.

About Orangetheory Fitness
Orangetheory makes it simple to get More Life from your workout. One of the world’s fastest-growing franchise companies, Orangetheory has developed a unique approach to fitness that blends a unique trifecta of science, coaching and technology that work together seamlessly to elevate participants’ heart rates to help burn more calories. Backed by the science of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), Orangetheory workouts incorporate endurance, strength and power to generate the “Orange Effect,” whereby participants keep burning calories for up to 36 hours after a 60-minute workout. Orangetheory franchisees have opened over 1,250 studios in all 50 U.S. states and over 23 countries. Visit www.orangetheoryfitness.com for more information.