Welcome to the 12 Days of Fitness!
I don’t know about you, but when the holiday season rolls around, a lot of my fitness goals go out the window.
I mean, who doesn’t have a hard time balancing everything?
Maybe you’re finishing up things at work, studying for finals, shopping for holiday gifts, traveling, attending Christmas parties and family get-togethers… So how are you also supposed to work out, eat healthy, and even just stay sane??
When I’m feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated, I go back to basics. This usually involves writing a simple to-do list to break down the steps of what I need to accomplish. Then I work through tasks one by one, rather than ten at the same time.
In fact, that’s what I’ve always advised my patients/clients to do when making healthy lifestyle changes: choose 1 or 2 things to focus on this week, and make them happen. Because doing anything more is too overwhelming.
And that’s the premise of these 12 Days of Fitness!
For 12 days leading up to the holidays, I’m giving you one small goal to accomplish each day. Just ONE fitness goal.
I love these sort of challenges because they help me identify places in my life where I’d like to put in a little more work – like mindfulness, or yoga!
So without further ado, let’s get to this 12 Days of Fitness challenge!
12 Days of Fitness!
Day 1 – Complete a Challenging Workout
It’s only fitting to start out with a workout that gets your heart rate soaring!
(And probably makes you question why you’re doing this challenge.)
Don’t worry, this is probably the hardest day of the fitness challenge so we’re just getting it out of the way!
The goal of this workout is to push yourself harder than you normally do. Try something out of your comfort zone – maybe a run, a piece of cardio equipment you don’t normally use, or a dope HIIT workout like this one.
Regardless of what you choose, go all in and be proud of yourself for crushing day 1!
Day 2 – Eat 5+ Servings of Fruits and Veggies
With all the sugary treats around, we may forget to eat enough nutrient-rich foods. Give your body a good dose of vitamins, minerals, and fiber by aiming for at least 5 servings of fruits/veggies today.
Your body will thank you!
Not sure how to sneak in the extra servings without simply nomming on a carrot? Read this post on how to sneak in those fruits and veggies!
Day 3 – Say No to the Cookies
And other goodies for the day! This means cookies, candy, cakes, donuts, peppermint mochas – if it’s a treat, skip it today!
Since I don’t like to just take something away (it makes me feel deprived), try replacing the treat with something healthier. Carry around an apple, a low-sugar KIND bar, or another healthy snack for when your cravings strike.
Day 4 – Practice Mindfulness
Not sure what mindfulness really means? Check out my post on it here!
Mindfulness is a wonderful tool to help keep us present and decrease anxiety. There are so many ways to practice it. Read my post above and select at least one way you’ll practice mindfulness on this 4th Day of Fitness.
Day 5 – Complete a Long Workout
It’s day 5 and time for another workout challenge. Today’s is all about the time rather than the intensity. Take it down a notch and enjoy pushing yourself for a longer period of time.
When I do something like this, I typically opt for either a long, brisk walk or an alternating walk/run. Bring along a family member (or an endurance-loving pet) for fun and to spread the fitness cheer!
Day 6 – Cook Yourself a Healthy Meal
As the holidays approach, it gets harder and harder to find time to cook. Actually, heck! It’s hard to cook at home all year round.
So your challenge today is to prepare a home-cooked, healthy meal. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but try making it from scratch!
Not sure where to find a healthy, easy recipe?
I got ya covered!
Day 7 – Do Yoga
Wooo! Halfway done!
There’s no better way to recover from your long exercise session than by stretching it out. Today select a 15-20 minute yoga video to follow along to on YouTube. I really like Yoga With Adriene.
Amidst all the hustle and bustle, take these few minutes to breathe deep and enjoy these moments of calm.
Day 8 – Swap Out a Sugary Beverage
Come on, I know you’ve got at least one in your day.
Whether soda, juice, sugary lattes, coffee creamers, or even honey in your tea, I challenge you to swap at least one of these out for a less sugary option.
Who knows? You may even like the less sugary option better.
For example, while I used to be a vanilla coffee creamer fanatic, I now drink my coffee with only a little bit of cream. And I actually prefer it that way.
You’ll never know unless you try! So save on the sugar today and get swapping!
Day 9 – Tackle something on your to-do list
Our wellness is greatly influenced by our stress levels. So today I challenge you to prioritize getting something stressful off of your to-do list.
Go get the car’s oil changed, pay the medical bill, respond to that email – whatever it is that you’ve been putting off or have weighing over your head.
It will do wonders for your mental health!
Day 10 – Do an Ab Workout
Alright, it’s time to hit the core! Just because we don’t show off our abs as much this time of year doesn’t mean we should neglect this important muscle group.
And while an ab workout may not necessarily help to burn off belly fat, it will help strengthen and tone those abdominal muscles.
So grab a yoga mat, and try out this 10 minute ab routine.
Day 11 – Choose a Positive Affirmation
Back to mental health! Today I want you to choose a positive affirmation to repeat to yourself throughout the day.
Positive affirmations can help uplift you, boosting your mood, confidence, and happiness all day long.
Need help finding one? Check out this list of powerful positive affirmations for women.
Day 12 – Set a Fitness Goal
Happy 12th Day of Fitness! On this last day, set a fitness goal to work towards. It doesn’t have to be a New Year’s Resolution – it can even be running a Christmas 5k!
But whatever it is, make sure you set a specific “due date” and make sure it’s realistic.
Having a fitness goal to work towards is a great way to hold yourself accountable and stay motivated. You’ll probably work harder too!
Happy holidays everyone! Regardless of what you celebrate (if anything!), I hope this time of year brings you health and happiness!
Now let’s get to work!
Share the vertical pin above on Pinterest to spread the holiday fitness cheer! Thanks y’all!