5 Ways To Stay Slim This Season

Squeezing in exercise during the busiest time of the year isn’t exactly easy. And as much as I love working out, deciding between holiday cookie swaps and yoga classes usually goes the way of the sweets.

So, to inspire myself—and you, of course!—to sneak in exercise whenever and wherever possible this season, I reached out to one of the busiest and fittest women I know: Dr. Lisa Masterson, co-host of The Doctors, and creator of the new fitness DVD Yoga Blast. Awesome spoiler alert: She still wants us to have fun—and we don’t have to become holiday grinches to stay fit.

“The holidays are a fun, warm time, and it’s okay to indulge here and there,” says Dr. Masterson. “Just hold out for the treats you really enjoy the most, and leave the rest.” Oh, and of course: move your butt as much as possible. “Exercise isn’t just going to help you ward off holiday pounds,” says Dr. Masterson. “It’s also going to reduce stress and boost your immune system.”

So how do you make time for fitness amid all the festivities? Read on for Dr. Masterson’s top five tips:

Take your workout on the road. Heading to Mom’s? “Stash your favorite fitness DVDs or a resistance band in your suitcase,” says Dr. Masterson. “Bring things that you can do in a hotel room or at a family’s house and that you’re able to do in a short space.” Another good small-room workout: TRX or yoga. And remember: Even 5 or 10 minutes of movement is a lot better than none. (Get fit on the road with these 7 Slimming Workouts For Small Spaces.) 

Schedule a sweat date with a buddy. Spent your lunch break online shopping instead of hitting up your usual spin class? Ask a friend to meet you for a run or a fitness class instead of spending an hour at the bar catching up over cocktails. “Asking a friend to workout with you makes you accountable so you’re a lot less likely to cancel your workout at the last minute,” says Dr. Masterson. (More of a solo exerciser? See why you need a workout buddy—and how to find one.) 

Catch up with family on the go. “Instead of sitting around playing a board game, take a walk with a family member. It’s a great way to chat while getting up your heart rate,” says Dr. Masterson. “Or, pop in a fitness DVD and get Grandma, Mom, and the kids to do it with you. You’ll all be at different fitness levels, but you’ll laugh a lot and have fun.”

Plan a holiday adventure. “If possible, use the snow for an excuse to sweat,” says Dr. Masterson. Plan a skiing trip, build a snowman, or go sledding with the little ones. You’ll have fun and won’t feel a bit guilty when you have those Christmas cookies later.

Have a holly, hydrated holiday. “I struggle with drinking enough water all the time, but it’s really important to drink it as much as possible,” says Dr. Masterson. “Water fills you up so you’re less likely to nibble mindlessly, and keeps your body functioning as it should.” And when you exercise, you need even more water. See how much to gulp with How Much Water To Drink When Working Out.

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