With the temperature dropping, the leaves turning, and being able to see your breath again, that can only mean winter is here and a slew of holidays are highlighted on all our calendars. It’s a time of year when we start to shut ourselves in from the cold and try to stay warm. We surround ourselves with hearty food and good company to ride out the incoming inclement weather. Sounds great, right?

Unfortunately, if you have fitness goals you need to meet, all the fun festivities and food will set you back. Don’t get discouraged, everyone has setbacks this time of year. You can take initiative and overcome these events by following these simple tips to help your winter-prep workouts.

1.) Rise and Shine

Start your day off with a bang by exercising early in the morning. It creates an initial boost to your metabolism, promoting fat burn all day. It will also make sure you stay on a consistent schedule to keep your workouts going despite holiday commitments by getting them in early.

2.) Consistency

Set your workout days early in the morning of holiday plans. Prep anything needed for festivities the day before, so you can get your workout in before they start on the same day. If you need to, sandwich workouts around big events. This will allow you get the most out of your workouts, instead of trying to cram several days worth of exercise into one. If you get out of sync with your workouts, it’s hard to get back on track.

3.) Weigh yourself Often

By keeping track of your weight consistently, you can easily catch yourself if you accidentally or knowingly set yourself back. Become aware of your setbacks before they snowball. Keep in mind, many individual’s weight can fluctuate throughout the week and even the day. Weigh yourself at the same time everyday, as this will provide you with the most accurate results. If you’re on a specific program to lose weight or maintain, it will help you reach your goals and hold you accountable.

4.) Up your Reps

For burning off excess calories, blend cardio and weights by vastly increasing your reps. The extra movement will cause you to burn more calories. Doing more reps will also bring your heart rate up and keep you warm if you ever feel cold in the gym. By upping the repetitions of weights, you’re increasing the volume of your workout, which simply means doing more work. Doing more high volume workouts directly leads to the building of lean muscle, which burns fat at rest. Want an easy (in theory) way to know you’re doing high volume workouts? Go to exhaustion. Do 3-5 sets, don’t focus on how many reps you do, just keep going until you can’t do anymore, if your reach muscle failure – that’s good.

5.) Schedule 1 Workout for each Holiday Plan

We tend to not watch what we eat around the holidays during parties and other events, so it’s hard to keep track of everything we’re putting into our bodies. However, can control the effort we put into our workouts. Weight-loss is a simple formula of calories in vs calories out. If you’re scheduling dates knowing they’re going to include more calories, do the same for calories out. Plan at least one workout day, which include weights and cardio for every major event on your calendar, and highlight them alongside your holiday dates.

6.) Train with a Friend

Having a friend, especially one who has similar goals, can help you hold accountable to reaching yours. It will take some stress away from making it into the gym, by instead thinking about spending time with your friend. In addition, you can also make sure your friends are doing well on their goals. Working with a friend can give each of you appropriate rest periods between sets. Plus, you can ensure you and your friend’s form is correct and push each other to go a bit further than you might alone.

7.) Get Plenty of Sleep

Now when I say sleep, I don’t mean a food-coma. Essentially, falling asleep from too muc food isn’t advisable and can lead to heartburn. Regular sleep, a recommended 7 hours, is essential. It will help you maintain high energy levels throughout the day and recover from your workout properly. Muscle growth comes from the breakdown and recovery of muscle tissue. The recovery part is necessary to keep your muscles intact. If you feel your brain doesn’t really function in the morning without coffee, it’s the same for your muscles with sleep.

We prepare for winter every year in different ways, by preparing our homes and schedules to deal with the coinciding weather. Plan your workouts the same, so the frigid temperatures don’t hinder your progress. It all comes down to planning. If you plan out everything ahead of time, it just becomes as easy as following a schedule, which soon becomes a good habit.

Be prepared and stay focus, and you will reach your goals. Happy Holidays, everyone