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Tips for Getting More Exercise this Holiday Season

Has getting more exercise been at the top of your to-do list but you never seem to get around to it?

We hear you!

Getting out of a rut can be TOUGH and some roadblocks may be bigger than others. The goal of this quick read is to help you learn new strategies to get into a routine that’s effective and has true staying power for YOU.

So let's get moving!

As you set out to get moving more consistently this holiday season, consider these 7 strategies on how to find an activity you’ll enjoy, stay safe and on track, and get the most out of every active minute.

  1. Start Gradually. No one expects you to go from sedentary to active in just one week, or even in one month. Increasing your fitness level safely takes time, so be patient with your progress. Even the most basic activity, such as moderately paced walking for as little as three hours per week, can lower your risk of disease and lengthen your life. *As you improve, try to increase the duration or intensity of your workout by no more than 10 percent each week. This is important to prevent overuse injuries!

  2. Do What You Enjoy! Choose your activities based on your personality and preferences. If you’ve never enjoyed jogging or despise competitive sports, it’s not likely that you’ll enjoy those things now. But if, for instance, socializing is a big motivator for you, a group class may be more your speed.

  3. Listen to Your Body. You know your body better than anyone else. Once you get moving, what do you notice? Does it feel good? Does something feel off? If it does, don't ignore it. For example, if you feel intense muscle or joint pain, it is important to get to the root cause. Pushing yourself too far can not only affect your ability to keep up with your routine, but it can lead to injury. (This is where I work with many individuals at Thrive to identify root cause of pain or limitations)

  4. Try a Fitness Watch. If you are like my wife and are very data driven, a fitness watch could be super motivating for you. Consider getting a FitBit, Apple Watch, Garmin, or any other tracker that can tally up your daily steps and track your workouts. The average American should take at least 10,000 steps each day. Many people find that just seeing the numbers add up is a great motivator to achieve that goal, or even exceed it. And it is the perfect time to put a fitness watch on your Christmas list!

  5. Mix It Up. Once you’ve gotten into the habit of making time to be active, try to include each type of exercise—aerobic (or what most people refer to as cardio) resistance or strength training, stretching, and balance are a few good ones to keep in the mix. Varied movements challenge your body and you often see more encouraging results faster by not doing the same thing everyday.

  6. Do What You Can, When You Can. If you can’t fit one long workout into your schedule, consider breaking it up into two or three shorter sessions of 10 to 15 minutes spread throughout your day. Split workouts done with high intensity can be as beneficial for health as long, continuous ones.

  7. Surround Yourself with Support. You are more likely to stay with your plan to exercise more if you make a date to walk with your coworker or meet a friend for yoga class. Some people stay motivated with regular personal training appointments. Support can also be as simple as your spouse offering to cook while you exercise, or a friend regularly checking in on your progress. Tell those close to you about your goal and you'll be amazed how much it helps keep you accountable!

We hope this helped add some tools to your toolbox when it comes to getting out of a rut and staying committed! As always, helping people stay active doing what they love is my mission and passion. Please don't hesitate to reach out - I would love to help you in any way I can!

Dr. Matt


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