It seems we were just gearing up our workout routine for swimsuit season, and now summer is ending. Because the holiday season seems to start earlier every year, it isn’t too soon to make a plan for keeping fit during the fall/winter festival of food and over-indulgence. Fortunately, if you’re a Future Fitness member, our instructors can give you the best advice in the industry on modifying your schedule to accommodate extra demands on your time, and recommending new exercises to help you continue achieving great results.

While most articles about keeping fit through months of temptation and extra socializing focus on diet, staying on your fitness schedule is equally important. Here’s why:

Routines get disrupted during the holidays for many reasons. When family comes to visit, and/or you’re running all over town, attending social gatherings, sports events, and other activities, it can be easy to skip your workout program. Like the TV commercial in which one small event leads to a quickly escalating series of disasters, you’re more likely to let other things slide when you quit visiting the fitness center on a regular basis. For example, you’re less likely to say “no” to that extra serving or slice. After all, it’s a(n):

1.    Major feast day

2.    Family gathering

3.    Office party

4.    Block party

5.    Tailgate party

6.    Bowl party

7.    Group of old friends in town

8.    Party for kid’s school, team, etc.

9.    Etc.

Even if you’re vigilant about enjoying holiday goodies in moderation, however, missing workouts can have detrimental effects. Common end-of-the-year activities tend to produce stress. The energy, stamina and strength you get from following a regular exercise schedule give you the resources to meet the season’s extra demands. When your body isn’t stressed, you’re also less likely to catch a cold or come down with the flu.

Another good reason for keeping up your exercise routine is the fact that getting back into it after an absence is more difficult. In order to avoid injury, it may be necessary to cut back reps or use lighter weights until your muscles build up again.

So how can you stay on schedule during the long holiday season? It helps to plan with a smartphone or old-school calendar. Make note of the dates when special or extra activities will occur, and work out time for the fitness center accordingly. You’ll be less likely to dismiss it or put if off if you’re looking at specific blocks of time.

If you do have to miss at least one week of working out at the fitness center, do something else that provides aerobic benefits – like walking or cycling. If you have family visiting, go out for a walk together through the neighborhood, park or nature trails. Taking a brisk walk through the mall is a good alternative during inclement weather – just be sure to keep up a good pace, and don’t browse. Of course, use your home fitness equipment to stay toned.

But make sure to come back as soon as possible. There may be no place like home, but home doesn’t have the state-of-the-art facilities, equipment or the invigorating, inspiring classes and workout programs of your favorite Future Fitness location! Have fun and be fit all through the holidays with us, and get a great start on 2013!