Regardless of what you celebrate this holiday season, December brings with it one very common factor: holiday parties. Whether it's an office get-together, a neighborhood pot-luck, a school event for your kids, a New Year's Eve party or the annual winter-time family reunion, everyone's social calendar is full to the brim during the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years.
How on earth is one supposed to fit in the gym on top of all of these extra social obligations?
It's difficult, but not impossible.
Here are a few tips, tricks and techniques to assist in an easy transition from work, to the gym, to a social setting.
1. Plan Your Workout in Advance
Is it Tuesday? Well, that means that you're going to walk on the treadmill for ten minutes, hit the stairmaster for 20 minutes, do 30 squats and then call it a day so you can get ready for your kids' school winter pageant. Thursday? Oh, that means we've got a quick 25 minutes on the stationary bike, five minutes of bicep curls, and 20 walking lunges on the agenda and then off to the office potluck! Having a plan of attack makes your workout purposeful, and gets you in and out of your gym in as little time as possible.
2. Always Keep a Gym Bag in the Trunk
Even though you've got a schedule, you should keep a bag on-hand that includes a change of workout clothes, appropriate shoes, and shower stuff. This way, should you find yourself with an extra hour to kill, but not quite enough time to go all the way home again before your next commitment, you have absolutely no excuse not to spend 40 minutes of that time on a treadmill.
3. Worried About Wet Hair?
Don't wash it! I know, I know, that sounds gross, but when you're in a pinch for time and don't want to sacrifice your workout to keep your luscious locks party-ready, there are a few surprisingly simple solutions. Try wearing your hair in a sock-bun on the very top of your head. This protects the ends of your hair from sticking to your sweaty clothes, keeps your hair off the back of your neck and isolates the part of your hair that's susceptible to wearing your workout the most. A little bit of baby powder applied to the roots of your hair will help to soak up any extra moisture that may still be lingering there after you've scrubbed the rest of you, and will brush out with minimal effort. Dry shampoos will achieve the same quick, effective results without forcing you to walk into your holiday gathering with wet hair.
With a little planning, and a little preparation, there is no reason at all that his can't be the healthiest holiday season you've seen yet. Failing to plan is planning to fail. What better gift to yourself during this wonderful, albeit stressful time of year than a little "me" time to better your physical and mental well being? Let's end this year on a healthy note.
Dani Russell is a freelance health and fitness lifestyle writer living in Honolulu, Hawaii. She is currently working to complete a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology and is a practicing student therapist. In her free time she can be found playing in the ocean, hiking and weightlifting. You can keep up with her daily quest to balance multiple jobs, fitness and graduate school via her tumblr.