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Your No-Time Holiday Workout Plan

Five time-saver strategies to building your body around the holiday hustle and bustle.

STEP 1: Calculate the number of days per week you can exercise

Make this a minimum of two days, but don't be unrealistic. If you've been working out five days a week up to now, chances are you might average only three days a week over the next month. Here's a very unscientific formula you can use to estimate a practical number:

Take the number of days you normally exercise each week and multiply it by four. We'll consider that the number of workouts you do in a not-so-hectic month.

Now subtract the number of parties, get-togethers, and gatherings you think you'll attend in December, as well as the number of nights you'll need to shop after work. (Yeah, you, tough guy!) Consider that researchers at the National Institutes of Health found that the average adult goes to more than four parties between Thanksgiving and New Year's.

Divide that number by four and you have the average number of days a week you should strive to exercise. (Round to the nearest whole number.) Consider any additional workouts to be a bonus. If you exercise in the morning or at lunch, after-work activities might not seem to have a direct impact on your training plan. But an increased number of social commitments during the holiday season will have a cascade effect on all parts of your life. For instance, it might diminish your sleep, which makes morning workouts a problem, or force you to work through your lunch hour, eliminating a workout option.

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