Holiday shopping, office parties, guests from out of town: the holidays are filled with the kinds of distractions that can easily turn into excuses to skip out on our exercise routine.

The thing is, they’re pretty good excuses.

We love holiday shopping, parties and family just as much as you do. And taking the time to attend to all of these great holiday distractions is fun – and it’s important.

But it’s also important to be flexible enough to integrate some activity time into your busier schedule. Here are a few ideas on how we try to do that around here:

  • Instead of simply blowing off your 5 p.m. trip to the gym in favor of an office party at the same time, wake up an hour early and jog before work.
  • Create a home workout routine for those times you can’t make it to the gym. Crunches, push-ups, and many other exercises can be done without any gym equipment.
  • Organize your day the evening before. Prioritizing your tasks beforehand will help you find time to exercise. Each week, make it a priority to fit in three exercise sessions.
  • Mix up your routine to avoid boredom. If you usually run four days a week, try running once, swimming once, and lifting weights twice. The novelty of the new exercise will hopefully be a stronger motivator than the ‘need’ to do something else during your normal exercise time.
  • Create a holiday wish list for one or more improved body area(s). Expect this to take a certain amount of sacrifice. Keep your discipline constant.