You don't have to fall victim to winter weight gain this season!

With the holidays coming up, I think most of us have just accepted that we're going to put on a few pounds. I know I have! Turkey, stuffing, Christmas cookies, Starbucks holiday drinks, hot cocoa! I mean, the possibilities are endless, and the idea of weight gain can seem endless, too! But you don't have to pack on the pounds and let your training go to the wayside. Just keep a few things in mind, and you'll be well on your way to getting a jumpstart on your New Year's fitness goals.

Know yourself.

Take a few minutes (or hours!) of soul searching. What makes you stray from your workout regimen during the holidays? What triggers you to throw in the towel and overeat? I know for me, it's the excitement of having all this extra family around. It can be hard to cut myself off from the socializing and festivities to stick to my workout plan. And when the socializing includes holiday-themed cocktails and treats??? It's even harder. What can I say? I have major FOMO.

But if you get familiar with what it is that puts a hard stop to your usual routine, you can plan around it. Maybe limit yourself to one holiday indulgence a day and have a different one tomorrow! Get up a little earlier, before all the friends and family, to get your workout in. Or wait on your workout until you hit that afternoon lull. When everyone is sleeping off that tryptophan, hit the road with your running sneakers. Or maybe see if you can con someone into being your holiday workout buddy!

Switch it up.

Usually a long-distance runner? Or do you like to hit the gym for hours? Maybe while the season is busy, change your focus to HIIT. These workouts are tough but short, and they have great health benefits. You'll sweat a lot and kick your metabolism into high gear, which is perfect for combating all those extra calories from your holiday snacks. Plus, you can fit a quick workout in between your holiday shopping!

Take advantage of seasonal sports!

When it's wintertime, there are a whole host of workouts that become available to you that don't feel like workouts! The advantages? People are eager to tag along with you, you work muscles you don't typically work, and it doesn't even feel like you're working out. Ice skating? Fun to do with the family or for a date. Sledding? An adrenaline rush that really makes you work the hills as you trudge back up the slopes with your sled. Lots of snow? Get out those snowshoes. A walk in the snow can burn A LOT of calories and it's beautiful to boot!


A walk in the snow can surprise you with the amount of calories you can burn! Courtesy of

Be prepared.

Keep an extra bag of gym clothes in your car. You never know when you can sneak a workout in. When everything is busy and rushed, sometimes its best to just snatch an opportunity for a workout where you can find it. And a smattering of workouts here and there is always better than nothing.

What are your tips for staying in shape over the holidays? Let us know in the comments!

The Run-Around is a weekly feature, focusing on fitness in and around Annapolis, MD.