'Tis the season for holiday travel! As one of the busiest times of the year approaches, many of us are preparing for a vacation with our families and friends. While this is something to look forward to, it can also beÂ stressful. Not to mention,Â there's often lotsÂ of indulging between now and New Year'sâand the last thing any of us wants is to pack on extra weight. Here are my five best tips for staying fit whileÂ you're on-the-go this holiday season.
1. Walk everywhere
Instead of taking cabs or buses, try to walk whenever possible. This is one of my favorite things to do whenÂ traveling, even if I'm going somewhere familiar. It's amazing what you can discover by walking around your hometown, and you're fitting inÂ extra exercise as a bonus. To give yourself an extra boost, always takeÂ the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. And don't get on those moving sidewalks in the airport!
Â 2. Find a local hike
For bonus points: Don't just walk, hike! Do a bit of research to find a scenic spot for the whole family to enjoy. Not only will you boost your burn, but a change of scenery is also a great way to bond with your loved ones and experience something new.
3. Sightsee while on a run
Plenty of people just head home for the holidays, but if you're going somewhere new and exciting this year do not overlook running routes as a fun way to see the sights. Nothing spices up a run or brisk walk quite like a beautiful view. If there'sÂ a lake, ocean, or park nearby, use it as the starting point for your workout. This is a great way to explore the area on foot while getting your body moving and breaking a sweat.
4. Splurge, but only when itâs worth it
This is one of my go-to tips no matter where I am. IÂ alwaysÂ want to enjoy the amazing foodÂ that come with the holidays, but I donât want to expand my waistline while Iâm there,Â either. If I did that every time I traveled, Iâd surely gain weight over time.
Instead, I choose to splurge wisely on a few comfort meals or must-try restaurants, but I eat pretty simply the rest of the trip.Â In other words, if you're at that famous bakery your mom loves and want to try their freshly baked bread, absolutely doÂ it! But if you're going to stop at a chain restaurant just to fuel up, opt for something on the healthier side and save those calories for dessert later on.
5. When all else fails, take five
When there's free time in between activities or if it feels like we'll be having a quieter day, I like to fit in a short workout.Â Here's a quick circuit I love when I only have a few minutes to spare. It requires no equipment and can be done anywhere, such as if you're waiting for your family to get ready for dinner. Do itÂ once or as many times as you can before everyone is ready to go!
1 minute of squat to left side kicks
1 minute of squat to right side kicks
1Â minute of burpees
1Â minute plank
1 minute of squat jumps
Looking for more ways to beat the holiday bulge? Check out this 20-minute holiday workout plan,Â which has fat-burning moves thatÂ allow you to indulge in moderation without feeling the guilt.
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Jennifer CohenÂ is a leading fitness authority, TV personality, entrepreneur, and best-selling author of the new book,Â Strong is the New Skinny. With her signature, straight-talking approach to wellness, Jennifer was the featured trainer on The CWâs Shedding for the Wedding, mentoring the contestantsâ to lose hundreds of pounds before their big day, and she appears regularly on NBCâs Today Show, Extra, The Doctors and Good Morning America. Connect with Jennifer onÂ Facebook,Â Twitter,Â G+Â and onÂ Pinterest.