November 1 is the new official kick off to the holiday season. The days are short, it’s dark at 4:00pm, and all of a sudden, New England turns gray and cold.

And now your exercise regime gets affected as well. It’s cold, maybe too cold for those early morning workouts, it’s so dark at 4;00PM, and it just seems like every single family member needs you at all hours of the day. Not to mention we are still in the middle of a pandemic.

The pressure can mount and this external pressure can start to create havoc with your fitness schedule as well as your eating plan.

So – how to deal with this and not fall completely off the rails?

If I had the “right” solution, well, I’d probably be the most famous fitness expert in the world. I don’t have all the answers, but I can certainly offer some thought and tricks to keep you on the right path, and do it in a healthy manner.

1. Pull up your weekly planner. Schedule your 3 workouts in first, before anything else gets put into those spots. Put these workouts in INK…not pencil!

2. During your workout, put your phone on “do not disturb.” And I’m serious about this. Distracted workouts equal mediocrity. If you can’t put your phone in another room while you workout, then at least make it so you aren’t distracted by calls and texts. Believe me, you can answer those messages after your workout.

3. Don’t stress about the length of your workout. It doesn’t have to be an hour. It can be 10-20 minutes long and that includes a warmup and cool down. If you can’t make that online or in-person class you normally take, maybe try a zoom class or something “on demand”. Anything that moves your body is better than nothing.

4. Take motivation in having accountability. Find a friend that can workout at the same time and message them the night before your workout and confirm what time you guys will workout together, whether it’s in person (socially distanced) or online. Having that person to be accountable to will make all the difference.

5. When in doubt, sweat it out. If you can find time to grocery shop, wrap gifts, deliver cookies to the police and volunteer, on top of all your other normal weekly responsibilities, you can make time for yourself to exercise. It can’t be at the bottom of the list. Make yourself a priority and you will be better to everyone else around you as well as yourself.

And lastly, don’t be so hard on yourself. If you miss a day, miss a workout, it’s not the end of the world. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and remember that tomorrow is a brand new day.


Ali Winslow, M.S. CFSC, NASM-CPT
Owner Hingham Strength

Photo Credit: Brooke Bartletta