Guest Post: 7 Tips for Staying Motivated During The Holidays- Whittney Thoman

One of the many perks about consulting for an awesome place like NASA is all of the amazingly smart and talented people I get to meet! In fact NASA is more of a community than a place of work, most of the employees spouses and families also participate and it becomes one big family! I have never featured a guest blogger before but with her credentials and expertise how could I not?! I know Whittney as a fellow NASA blogger and the spouse to an employee at NASA. Let me just tell you girl knows her stuff! Whittney is currently employed as an Exercise Physiologist with the Integrative Health Initiative in the Cancer Prevention Center at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She received her B.A. in Behavioral Psychology from West Virginia Wesleyan College and her M.S. in Clinical Exercise Physiology from Marshall University. She is a certified American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Clinical Exercise Physiologist, ACSM Cancer Exercise Trainer and has her ACSM Exercise is Medicine (Level 3) credential. Whittney has experience working with a diverse population, including cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, chronic disease and disability, patients with mental disabilities, cancer prevention and survivorship, and bariatrics. Her credentials speak for themselves so let’s just jump right in!

Whittney is sharing her 7 favorite tips for staying motivated during the holidays: 

It’s no coincidence that the gym is packed in January. The holidays are typically a time when we fall short in the gym and slack off from our typical routines which can lead to weight gain, muscle loss, and a strong desire to get back on track come New Years. With family obligations, events, traveling, and delicious food, it’s no surprise that we tend slack off during the holiday season. The good news – you aren’t destined to gain holiday pounds. In fact, with proper planning, you can maintain your fitness level while still enjoying the holiday season. Here are a few tips to help you to stay on track throughout the holiday season.

Planning is key

It is extremely helpful to plan your workouts in advance. This is even more important during the holiday season when events are especially frequent. Schedule out days of surrounding plans. If you know you’ll be out of the gym for a few days, plan on using those days as a recovery and rev up your workouts surrounding the trip. Rather than leaving your schedule up to chance, be proactive and set aside dedicated time to hit the gym.

Recruit a gym buddy

While it’s sometimes hard to motivate yourself to get going, it’s easier if you aren’t doing it alone. Find a workout partner during the holiday season to stay motivated. Make a promise to hold each other accountable. You’ll be less likely to skip with the guilt of leaving your gym buddy hanging.

Take advantage of body weight exercises

Even if you can’t get to the gym during the holiday season, you can still get a great workout in using just your bodyweight. Bodyweight workouts can be done anywhere using little to no equipment and usually take 20 minutes or less.

For example, set a timer for 20 minutes and see how many times you can go through the following circuit: 10 Mountain climbers > 20 Jumping Jacks > 30 Jump squats > 20 Push-ups > 10 Reverse lunges.

Stay true to yourself and evaluate

You will need to occasionally evaluate yourself to determine if you are working toward your goals. During the holiday season, this is especially crucial. You’ll be more likely to push away from the table sooner if you see the results (or lack thereof) on the scale, in your clothing or in the gym. Record your progress and track every two weeks during the winter months to stay motivated.

Break up your workouts

Although you may not be able to squeeze in one single workout a day, you can use small, shorter workouts throughout the day. For instance, every hour starting at 8AM until 8PM, perform 10 push-ups and 10 bodyweight squats. By the end of the day, you’ll have done 120 reps of each!

 Involve more people

The holiday season should be time shared with friends and family. Involve everyone by playing games outside that involve activity or by signing up for a local 5k. This way, you’ll still be able to bond and connect while staying active. A daily walk can be another great way to get everyone moving while being together.

Choose your indulgences

With all of the tasty food on the holiday table, it’s hard not to give in and eat a week’s worth of calories in one sitting. There’s no reason to deprive yourself from enjoying your favorite foods. Pick the ones you want to indulge in, but limit yourself to one serving. Once you’re done, put the rest in a container and slide it in the fridge. You’ll be less likely to dig in for seconds when the food is out of sight.

-Whittney Thoman


To read more from Whittney check out NASA’s blog 

What are some of your favorite ways to stay motivated during the Holidays?! I would love to hear from you! 




About Marla

Welcome to my slice of the internet I’m Marla, a dietitian & creator of The Blonde Pantry. A website that encompasses food, health, nutrition, travel, lifestyle, & home decor. Here you will find what makes me, me and hopefully, I can add something tasty to your table, something beautiful to your home and something thoughtful to your mind.


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