Written by Elise Tresley, mēle
It’s that time of year — travel, family, the holidays. If you’re anything like us, December is one of our favorite months of the year. But along with the holiday cheer can come higher stress levels, less time for ourselves, and a dip in our regular workout routine. When time is scarce, we’ve found that sneaking in “mini-workouts” that don’t require a lot of space or equipment is the way to go.
We took the liberty of trying out a number of apps and YouTube channels so we could pass along the best of them to you.
Because, honestly, we’d rather be spending more time with grandma this year than trekking all the way to the gym.
Our favorite “workout hacks” for the holidays:
Heat it Up.Sometimes the best way to motivate yourself is finding a fun class — say dancing. When we don’t have the time or the extra cash (hello, holiday shopping) for a cardio dance class, we tune into YouTuber Caleb Marshall of The Fitness Marshall. You can choose your songs, create a playlist, and dance along with Caleb and his crew. No equipment required. What we like most? The song selection is upbeat, the dances aren’t hard to follow, and it doesn’t feel like a workout. Bonus: it’s free.
Cool it Down.Another favorite YouTuber of ours is Adriene Mishler of Yoga With Adriene. We can all use a little extra zen during the holiday season — and Adriene’s online classes are for all levels. You can tone, trim, and calm your body (and mind) with her various yoga classes. What we like most? You can pick sessions that are less than 15 minutes, target different parts of your body, or even choose a class that fits a particular lifestyle or challenge (e.g. Yoga For Migraines). And it’s free, too!
Mix It Up.We recently discovered Aaptiv, and let’s just say, we’re hooked. With 30+ new classes every week, Aaptiv is the #1 audio fitness app. As they say on their site, the app provides trainer-led, music-driven audio workouts, which means you aren’t watching a screen. What we like most? The variety! Classes include running, cycling, elliptical, treadmill, strength training, stretching, and yoga. Our only cons? Some of the workouts require equipment and the app will cost you. If you sign-up for an annual membership, you’ll be paying $8.33 per month. That said, you get a 30-day free trial with the annual subscription, which we think is worth trying out.
Sweat With Celebs.If you like to follow celebrity athletes, the Nike+ Training Club app might be your thing. Workouts are inspired by top Nike athletes like Serena Williams and Rory McIlroy and designed by Nike+ Training Club Master Trainers. This app has been around for awhile, but has definitely improved over the years. Their video clips, in particular, will help you with your technique and form. What we like most? You can share your workouts with friends so you stay accountable. And it won’t cost you a dime (can you tell we like free stuff?).
Clear Your Mind.When we think about fitness, we usually think about workouts for our body. But don’t forget about your mind — especially during the holidays! Meditation can increase focus, improve sleep, and lower stress, to name a few benefits. The Headspace app makes it easy to get in short meditation sessions each day, which are led by mindfulness expert, Andy Puddicombe (he traveled the world for the past decade and was ordained at a Tibetan monastery in the Indian Himalayas). What we like most? The app not only makes it easy to make meditation a habit, but also explains the essentials of mindfulness without seeming intimidating. We see it as a the “meditation tool” for the “non-meditator.” Our only con? It isn’t free. Monthly subscriptions range from $5.74 to $14.95, depending on the plan. For an intro, you can try it out with their “10-day Basics” series (10 minutes per day for 10 days).
We should point out that our recommendations above are 100% genuine and are not paid advertising. So, there you have it: our secrets to staying in shape during the holidays. Whether you’re traveling or hosting family members this December, we hope our workout hacks help you stay fit — in body and mind.