How Busy Women Fit in a Workout During the Holidays

Finding time to exercise is no easy feat any time of year, but it may ring even more true right about now. If these ladies can get their butts in gear, though, so can you. By Cathy Garrard, REDBOOK.

Carve off calories with cookies
"When I'm in the kitchen a ton this time of year, I put that time to good use. No sitting while baking! When making any recipe that requires multiple batches, I take a brisk walk around my block in between, and whenever possible, I mix things by hand instead of using an electric blender." - Shana Schneider, 34, New Haven, CT

Make it a family affair

"Over the holidays, I opt for seasonal, easy, and fun exercise opportunities, like taking my sons ice skating at the local rink. And my entire family takes neighborhood walks in the evenings to look at all of the Christmas displays and cool holiday decorations." - Deborah Sweeney, 39, Calabasas, CA

Related: How to Burn 900 Calories in Just One Hour

Ditch the mailman
"Once I finish Christmas cards, I set aside those addressed to friends who live within a five-mile radius and deliver them by foot. I always wear a hat, so I stay warm and toasty even in the frigid temps." - Carly Fauth, 35, Milford, MA

Move during movie time
"My family loves watching classic holiday flicks together, but rather than sit on the couch like a lump, I use that time to exercise. I'll take 15 minutes to do crunches and push-ups, or try a few yoga poses. It always makes my body feel so much better!" - Laura Camerlengo, 28, Philadelphia

Spread cheer with friends

"My local running group does a couple of holiday events to make sure we're getting our runs in-like a Jingle Bell jog. We pin little sparkly bells on or make them into bracelets, and people smile when they see us." - Emily Bilodeau, 35, Farmington, ME

Related: How to Finally Halt Emotional Eating

Time it right

"I'm in the kitchen a lot during the holidays, and I'm consistently using my timer. I realized that the four minutes it takes to brew a pot of coffee could be four minutes spent powering kettlebells around. I'll typically end up doing as many as four sessions, and I feel stronger and more accomplished, since the amount of time I spend working out really starts to add up. Plus, I don't get sweaty, have to reapply makeup, or redo my hair." - Katrina Wilhelm, 33 Lake Oswego, OR

Find new uses for romance
"This year, every time I walk under mistletoe, I'm going to do 10 push-ups, squats, or lunges. And instead of online shopping, I go to the outlet mall or downtown and walk between the stores." - Jessica Beauchemin, 34, Corvallis, OR

Forego automated cheats
"When I travel during the holidays, I make it a point to always take the stairs, not the escalator or those moving walkways at the airport. All those extra steps-especially when you are hauling luggage-make a difference and really add up." - Charly Rok, 45, New York City

Related: 21 Ways to Burn Fat Faster

Go caroling in the car
"I like to burn holiday calories and tighten muscles while driving. I crank up the Christmas carols, hold my stomach in hard for as long as I can, then do it again. If I'm really ambitious, I tighten the muscles to the beat of the song, like tummy kegels." - Kathleen Shaputis, 60, Centralia, WA

Make it (at) work

"I protect my workout time all year, but particularly during the holidays when I have even less time than usual. To avoid lost time driving to and from the gym, I have my trainer come directly to my office for a 45-minute total body-conditioning workout. I don't have to worry about a machine being open, and he brings all the equipment I need. When someone shows up at your door as your next appointment, the accountability and adherence dramatically increases. It's my saving grace." - Danielle Girdano, 35, Chicago

Make mornings me time
"I work out first thing after I wake up. Before I even start to think about my shopping list, I am getting dressed to go to the gym or out for a jog in my neighborhood. By making myself the first point of business to take care of, I don't have to go through the day telling myself that I will work out, knowing all too well that I'm going to get too busy or forget." - Shawntel White, 26, Atlanta

More from REDBOOK:
25 Lazy Ways to Burn Lots of Extra Calories
Sneaky Ways Your Office Is Making You Gain Weight
The Worst Weight-Loss Advice We've Ever Heard
Snack Watch: The 12 Best New Ways to Kick 4 p.m.'s Butt