How to Stay Fit During Breaks and Holidays

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Everyone will experience an interruption in their exercise and workout schedule from time to time. Holidays, weddings, vacations, injuries, and even illness, can all force you to take some time off no matter how dedicated you are to your training routine. So, how can you keep exercise a priority when your schedule changes? And how little (or how much) exercise is necessary to maintain your general fitness level?

While there isn't one right answer for everyone, most experts agree that it all depends on your goals and current level of fitness. If your goal is to maintain your fitness level during a few weeks of reduced training, then some moderate exercise for 30 minutes every other day is all you need. If your fitness level is high and you want to keep it that way, you will need to adjust your exercise time, type and intensity accordingly.

Incorporating Fitness During Breaks

The good news is, small amounts of high-intensity movement can be especially helpful for maintaining your fitness level. At a minimum, perform two high-quality, high-intensity, 30-minute training sessions each week until you can resume your usual program. Below are some options for how to do this:

Use the days when you can't exercise for rest and recovery. Keep the high-intensity days 2 to 4 days apart for maximum benefit and allows plenty of time for rest, which is essential if you are doing high-intensity workouts.

Tips for Maintaining Exercise Routines

Instead of detraining and reconditioning, these tips may help you keep up your exercise routine after all, or at least maintain a semblance of normalcy.

A Word From Verywell

Maintaining a fitness routine can be challenging, particularly amidst holiday chaos. Try to plan ahead, seek out unique ways to incorporate movement, and don't be too hard on yourself if you workout less than you do in other seasons. The holidays require flexibility and balance, even when it comes to personal fitness.

Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

By Elizabeth Quinn, MS
Elizabeth Quinn is an exercise physiologist, sports medicine writer, and fitness consultant for corporate wellness and rehabilitation clinics.