The winter holidays have a way of ambushing nearly everyone’s normal fitness routine. But employee wellness doesn’t need to fall by the wayside because of the seasonal upheaval of schedules and other sources of holiday stress. By offering employees a few simple time management tips, HR can help employees squeeze exercise into their hectic holiday plans.


1. Practice Time Management at the Gym

The quality of a workout is more important than its duration. Employees should consider how much time they spend socializing during their workouts and cut back to be more efficient. Other tips include shortening rest periods and focusing on compound exercises rather than exercises that isolate specific regions of the body.


2. Do Quick Workouts at Home

Exercise can be done in the 10 minutes between all of the holiday hustle and bustle. Fizzup’s 7-minute at-home workouts, for example, use high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that alternate between strength training using the person’s body weight and cardio.


3. Put Workouts on the Calendar

Just as with any other successful goal of time management, people don’t find the time to exercise, they make time for it. Consider encouraging employees to put their workouts on their calendars, along with all of their other holiday commitments.


4. Think of Exercise as Stress Relief

Who couldn’t use a little stress relief during the holidays? Well, research shows that physical exercise can reduce anxiety by as much as 61%. Previous research and reports by publications such as Harvard Health say there are several reasons physical exercise can ease anxiety.


5. Put Fitness Into Life’s More Mundane Moments

Just because employees are on holiday, and maybe even away from home, they don’t need to become couch potatoes. The Mayo Clinic offers these tips to help make fitness a priority:

  • Wake up earlier than usual and use the extra time to walk on a treadmill or take a brisk walk around the neighborhood.
  • Turn household chores into exercise. Mop the floor, scrub the bathtub, or do other housework at a pace fast enough to get your heart pumping.
  • Ditto for outside chores. Mowing the lawn with a push mower burns more calories. Raking and hoeing strengthen the arms and back, and digging works your arms and legs.
  • Be active while watching TV. Use hand weights, ride a stationary bike, or perform a stretching routine while watching your favorite TV shows.
  • Get more out of errands. At the mall or grocery store, park near the back of the lot and walk the extra distance. If you have a little extra time, walk inside for a lap or two before you start shopping. Keep a pair of walking shoes in your car so that you’re ready to go when you find a few minutes to spare for exercise. 

Most of all, employees should be realistic about their holiday fitness goals and go easy on themselves. They won’t always be in charge of their schedules, so they can only do their best. Just remind them that they can get back to their normal routine after the busy season. Because after all, healthier employees are happier, more engaged, and more productive.