When the holiday season rolls around, it’s always more difficult to stick to my regular workout routine. The weeks leading up to the New Year are always jam-packed with all sorts of obligations--from parties and other get-togethers to shopping and even baking sugar cookies. Of course, most of these seasonal responsibilities are a lot of fun, but they don't leave me much time for exercise.

Even though I might not be able to work out as much as I typically do, fitting in even a few workouts and moving as much as possible is better than nothing at all. That said, here are 3 ways to burn some serious calories--without even really trying--during the holiday season!

Make your workout an early-morning to-do
We're all busy during the holidays, so instead of letting other obligations get in the way of my workout, I prioritize it by putting it at the very top of my to-do list for the day. In fact, my workout is often the first thing I do before my day gets too busy. A morning workout always starts my day off on the right foot, and there's nothing more satisfying than checking it off my to-do list! If you’re having trouble waking up to exercise, check out my tips for becoming a morning exerciser.

Use your workout to catch up with friends
Do you feel like the holidays always fly by, and you never have a chance to catch up with friends? Use your workout to multitask! Here are a couple of ideas for breaking a sweat while socializing with your buddies at the same time! Plan a girls' night that starts with a spinning class followed by drinks and appetizers. If your errand list is a mile long, mostly likely your friend's is too, so call her up and (literally) run them together. Wear your sneakers and speedwalk around your local mall or shopping plaza and get them done together.

Blast calories with a short, but intense workout 
When my schedule is jam-packed with holiday activities, I don’t usually have time for a long workout. Instead, I use a short, but intense workout to torch calories. I love full-body, CrossFit-style workouts that push me and leave me a sweaty mess by the end. Typically, these workouts are 20 minutes or less, but they're really challenging, so I find them to be just as effective as my regular workouts without the time commitment. We all need those extra minutes during the holiday season!

Read Tina’s daily food and fitness blog, Carrots ‘N’ Cake.