How to Stay Active and Stay Committed to Your Health During the Holidays

What feelings do the holidays bring up for you? For some, it’s stress and overwhelm – and maybe even a little sadness – while others look forward to decorating, gift wrapping, parties, and spending quality time with loved ones. It’s also a time when your schedule inevitably gets disrupted with taking time off work, more celebrating, extra travel, or spending time hosting and entertaining relatives.



Because there seems to be so much more to do during the holidays, a lot of people give up on their exercise schedule and become less mindful about food choices. We think “forget it, I’ll start over in January” and feel like we have to completely throw in the towel. But, sticking to the habits you’ve worked so hard to build over the year is important and can still be maintained even when things get busier. There’s no reason to give into the societal mindset of starting fresh in January when you can continue with it right now.

As James Clear, of the best-selling book Atomic Habits says, “When it comes to developing and maintaining a new habit, frequency matters more than intensity.” He also compares fitness progress to compound interest. Just a little bit can go a long way.

Now, I’m not saying that this time of the year is when you should be driving your body into the ground with more workouts or trying to diet for fear of gaining weight. You can take realistic, simple, and small actions every day that will add up so that you’re either maintaining or making the progress you want.

When there’s an influx of tempting food, drinks, and opportunities to skip out on exercise, it’s important that we do whatever we can to stick to the healthy behaviors that we’ve worked so hard to create. Imagine going into 2020 already feeling amazing because you’ve stuck with your routine.

Here are 6 tips to help you stay healthy and less overwhelmed during the holidays:

Get extra sleep. This will automatically decrease your stress load and ensure you feel refreshed and energized. Keep in mind that when you are tired, sugary treats and junk food are going to be more tempting and it’s much easier to overeat.


Just commit to 20 minutes a day of movement. Always start with a realistic amount of time you can add to your schedule. This will help you to stay in the habit of training, but without having to spend 45 minutes in the gym or with a trainer.

Make self-care your number one priority. You have to put yourself first before you can fully serve others. We wrote an entire post on why self-care is one of the best thing you can do for your health (and why it’s not just bubble baths and massages) that you can read here.

Remember that food is just food. You don’t have to “earn” or “burn off” anything that you enjoy eating. Allow yourself to have food if it makes you feel good and look at your workouts as a completely separate activity that you are doing to feel good and get stronger. Approach the holidays by telling yourself that no foods are off limits or “bad”, but it’s important to be mindful and nourish your body so that you feel your best.

Use an online training program. This is an easy way to work out anywhere as it fits into your schedule. Since you don’t have to go to a gym or have a ton of equipment, you can still get in daily movement without even leaving your house. Adrien’s Virtual Training program is a perfect option for anyone who wants simple and effective workouts that will help them stay on track.



Get external accountability and support. A simple email, text, or phone call with a friend or coach is a great way to help you stay on track.

You can commit to carrying out your healthy habits into the New Year while also enjoying the holidays. Remember how you want to look, feel, and act toward yourself and others so that you are motivated to stick to a routine and not feel like you have to start over in January.


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Adrien founded Fitness on the Run in 2004 out of her home after a successful career in policy and public affairs communications. After spending 15 years developing her own personal definition of wellness and watching thousands struggle with theirs, in January 2019 Adrien founded Alexandria Wellness, the home for the Concierge Wellness Program and Corporate Wellness with Adrien Cotton. Over the course of 15 years, “FOR” was home to more than 2,000 clients, 30 instructors, and hundreds of inspirational success stories. Adrien is now, more-than-ever, passionate about helping women view their fitness as a journey, not a quick fix. Adrien’s recipe for success herself has evolved from a rigid training plan of sweaty and heart pumping workouts to some days getting in her 10,000 steps, consciously breathing, her 7.5 hours of sleep, and her beloved 5-Minute Flow. Adrien believes the most important ingredient is making small changes for big results, even if it’s one new habit formed each month. Still passionate about fitness, Adrien’s clients appreciate her ability to make sessions seriously challenging without a “beat down,” a healthy mix of strength and metabolic (cardio) work and ultimately helping her clients gain real strength in mind and body. She believes we all benefit from being curious about our bodies and that change, or improvement, is within reach despite what your “inner voice” or others may tell you. Adrien is bubbling with excitement to help women learn the importance of a comprehensive approach to wellness, weight loss, and contentedness with yourself, and that every person has the right to feel good about themselves. Most days, you can find her helping clients with their wellness, listening to success stories, and bragging about her twin 13-year-old children and “fittest man in Alexandria” Bill Cotton. Adrien prides herself on her practice of mindfulness, meditation, and putting it all into perspective.

Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.

Schedule your free 30 minute consult here!

Alexandria Wellness
215 North Payne Street
Alexandria, VA 22314



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