Healthify Me: Jump Start Your Fitness Before the New Year

Every year it happens, the inevitable workout rut. Between holiday parties, shopping, cooking and traveling, you’re in a constant time crunch, and exercise is often the first thing to be dropped from your to-do list. We get it. However, squeezing some quality fitness activities into your crazy-busy schedule now will not only help you make it through the holidays, it will also help you bring in the New Year as a healthier, happier person. Here are a few ideas on how to stay fit throughout the season.

1. Sign up for a holiday race, and circle the date in red on your calendar. Having something planned will keep you motivated to get out of bed for those early morning workouts. If your goal is to make it to the finish line, you’re going to have to train. Find ideas for races in Oregon and Washington from Running in the USA.

Jump Start Your Fitness
2. Plan a winter hike (or snowshoe). Get a group of friends or family together and head to the hills for an outdoor workout that you’re sure to love. In Portland, head out to one of the many trails in the Columbia River Gorge area for a hike. Or travel further to Trillium Lake for a scenic snowshoe romp. In Seattle, make it your goal to trek a few of the “Best Northwest Hikes and Walks,” from Seattle magazine this month, or try a trail from our list of favorite hikes for winter.

3. Find your Zen in a yoga session. Few things will help you fight holiday stress better than practicing some mindful poses. Plus, yoga improves your flexibility and boosts your total body strength. In Portland or Seattle, try out a relaxing restorative yoga class, or a beginning power yoga class at Core Power Yoga.

Jump Start Your Fitness
4. Tackle your favorite shopping district… by foot. One of the best (and easiest) ways to stay in shape is to incorporate fitness into your holiday shopping. Rather than driving from store to store to find your gifts, walk from shop to shop in area like Mississippi Avenue and NW 23rd Avenue in Portland, or Ballard and Fremont in Seattle. There you can buy amazing, locally-made products – all while burning calories as you walk.

5. Try a new exercise class. Every now and then, you just have to hit refresh on your workout routine to prevent boredom and keep you motivated. Sign up for a spin session at StarCycle in Lake Oswego, or Flywheel Sports in Seattle. Or join a bigger gym, like 24 Hour Fitness, where you can sample a variety of new-to-you classes, like Zumba, kickboxing or BodyPump.

Lindsey Emery

Lindsey Emery is a Portland-based health and fitness writer. Prior to her move to the Pacific Northwest, Lindsey was the senior fitness editor at Fitness magazine. A graduate of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Lindsey spends most of her downtime running, biking, hiking and baking. She lives in southeast PDX with her husband, Eddy, and their cat, Reggie. You can find her online at or on twitter @FITNESSlindsey

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