Everyone needs the Holiday Season to celebrate, catch up with friends, and maybe even take a break from heavy training and Spartan nutrition. Have some fun, but don’t overdue it. Remember, it’s not uncommon for most guys to pack on a whopping 5 to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day!

Please use moderation when drinking and remember that just one gram of alcohol contains 7 empty calories! Avoid the costly and even deadly mistake of drinking and driving. Make healthy nutritional choices at home and at parties. Don’t let holiday stress or lack of time keep you from training. Here are my best and most practical holiday survival tips.

Keep your workouts at the top of your “to do” list. During this season of making lists and checking them twice, make sure to give top priority to working out and staying active.  Consider shifting your training if evenings and weekends are too booked. Try weights and cardio first thing in the morning. You may have to get up earlier, but you have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve jump started your metabolism and burned off some serious calories.

Incorporate cardio into your busy schedule. You may not have time to get to the gym for extra cardio or a cross-fit session, but you can stay active and still burn calories. When you hit the malls, park far away from the stores so that you have a longer walk to your destination. Step up your pace when you’re walking the pooch. Walk to parties and social gatherings when you can.

Put some heat under your workouts. You may not have a full hour to train because of schedule and obligations, but you can have a kick-ass workout in 20-30 minutes. Use less weight and perform more reps and sets in rapid succession. Employ supers sets, compound sets, and forced reps to get more work done. Move from station to station quickly. Avoid distractions.

Recuperate.  Take the holiday season off. Many pro athletes follow a five months-on, one month-off routine. One of the best ways to build muscles is to give them a chance to rest, recover and grow, but remember, stay active and eat wisely.

Train on the road. One of the biggest problems during the holidays, when you are traveling, is a lack of access to a gym. Join a gym for a day or a weekend. Training for a day or two in another gym can be inspiring!

Stay open, be innovative. If you’re on the road and you can’t get to the gym, you can still do crunches, lunges, push-ups, and dips. Try using your own body weight to do a variety of effective full body exercise routines. Use the stairs when travelling or sightseeing.