Skip to content

Holiday Exercise: Ali Ghani, Edmonton entrepreneur gives easy habits to implement


    It’s hard to believe that the holidays have arrived. In between all of the holiday baking, online shopping and family and friend ZOOM meetings (this year will surely be different), it can be difficult to maintain your regular exercise routine.

    However, if you decide to take a few weeks off from exercise, it will only be that much harder to resume your routine in the new year.

    Ali Ghani, Edmonton entrepreneur, is passionate about health and fitness and always makes time to stay in shape.  During a typical week, he rotates his fitness routine to include cardio, like  going out for a run, and then on alternate days he focuses on weightlifting and endurance.  Ali says that even though the holidays can make you lose focus, fortunately, there are a few easy habits you can put in place to survive the holidays with your fitness regime still intact. 

    Schedule workouts

    You know the week ahead will be hectic, so the key to making sure you fit in a workout is to plan them out ahead of time. 

    “Spend 20 minutes on the weekend mapping out your fitness routine for the coming week.  If you write your workouts into your schedule, you’ll be more likely to complete them,” says Ali Ghani.

    Maybe that means scheduling a quick run during your lunch break, or setting your alarm for 6am and heading to the home gym.  Whatever you choose, put it on the calendar.

    Recruit a partner

    Chances are, if you’re worried you won’t be able to workout during the busy holiday season, a friend probably shares those same worries. So, hold each other accountable. Checking in with someone else daily will increase the likelihood that you’ll stay on schedule.  Afterall, you don’t want to disappoint your workout buddy.

    “Today’s technology even offers accountability partners online,” explains Ali Ghani.  “Social media is bursting with workout challenges and support networks.”

    Workout first thing in the morning

    There’s nothing that gives you a better satisfaction and kick starts your energy than a good sweat first thing in the morning.  Exercise gets your heart pumping and your endorphins running and prepares you both mentally and physically for the busy day ahead.  Especially during the holidays, it’s best to get up and get moving as soon as possible.  Plus, getting a workout out of the way first allows you to do all of the fun holiday activities that you have planned the rest of the day.

    Plan ahead for travel

    If you are someone who is traveling home to be with family this year, it’s important to pack a quick and easy travel plan in your suitcase. You don’t need to pack your heavy weights and your entire workout wardrobe to do so.  “Keeping to a simple routine consisting of a few exercises you can do in a small space is enough to keep you on track until you can get back to your usual routine,” explains Ali Ghani.

    You could include push-ups, crunches and even jump roping in your travel workout routine.  And, if you pack a good pair of running shoes, you can hit the pavement just about anywhere you go.

    Do some mini-workouts

    Even the most disciplined fitness buffs need a break from time to time.  If you do choose the holidays as your breaktime from your extensive fitness routine, then fitting in some mini-workouts will suffice.  Focus on sneaking in short bursts of activity as often as you can throughout each day.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk around the block with your nieces and nephews, or do a few crunches while you are watching holiday movies.

    Try to limit sweets

    It is understandably very difficult to steer away from all the goodies and not overindulge when there are so many temptations in front of you.  Try to keep up with a healthy diet, even over the holidays.  Maybe forgo that extra helping of mashed potatoes, or only take a small slice of pie.  Everything in moderation, because come new year, you don’t want to have to take off all of those extra pounds.

    Remember, even doing a few physical activities or bouts of high-intensity exercise will be enough to keep you motivated and on track during the holidays.