Healthy During the Holidays

Finding time to exercise during the holidays can be tricky and sometimes stressful. Between holiday parties, work events, family gatherings, Christmas shopping (...and the list goes on), you might find your health taking a back seat if you don't put it at the top of your to do list! Here are a few ideas to help you not only find the time to exercise, but also enjoy the holidays with friends and family simultaneously.

  • Get up 15-30 minutes earlier. Often we have good intentions of working out but the hustle and bustle of the holidays often get in the way. Make it a priority and get up a few minutes earlier than usual to get your workout done for the day. Not only will you feel better throughout the day, but you won’t be stressed or worried about finding time later in the day to fit it in.
  • Find a workout buddy. This can be someone in your house, a neighbor, or a friend across the country. If they live close, schedule a time to get together and workout. If they live further away, you can still plan to workout at the same time or just keep each other accountable by following up throughout the day to make sure you got it done. Having an accountability partner dramatically increases your results of sticking to your goals.
  • Play with the kids. Whether you have kids of your own or nieces and nephews, find a way to spend time with them while still exercising. Go for a walk, go Christmas caroling, walk the dog, clean the house, deliver holiday goodies on foot to neighbors, play tag, or have a snow ball fight.
  • Have fun outdoors. There are a lot of winter sports that are extremely active and that get your heart rate up. Find some friends or family members to go enjoy a workout while having fun. This could include skiing, sledding, ice skating, or snowboarding (to name a few).
  • Pack smart. If you’re worried about fitting in exercise while traveling, just pack smart. Bring workout clothes that are appropriate for the weather and don’t forget your tennis shoes. No matter where you go, you can always find a way to go for a walk or jog outdoors. If the weather is dangerous, lace up your shoes and do some laps around the mall or in a large department store. You can also pack a thera-band in your suitcase. These are light and easy to fit in a suitcase, but can help you get your workout in no matter where you go. You can even workout with a thera-band while watching a holiday movie with the family!
  • Make it a family event. Instead of worrying about finding time to exercise AND spending time with your family, why not do both? Plan a night where the whole family will join you in a workout.  You will be surprised at how quickly the time passes when you’re spending it together laughing and sweating at the same time.
  • Skip on-line shopping. Plan to shop on foot this year and burn more calories with all your walking! You can also plan to park further in the parking lot for an extra-long walk to each store. For a better workout, walk briskly from store to store keeping a steady pace and elevating your heart rate. You can also take a trip to the car every time you purchase something to keep you walking back and forth and get some added steps in.
  • Shovel a driveway. Who ever said shoveling a driveway isn’t a workout? For a 150 lb. person, shoveling a driveway for 1 hour can burn up to 400 calories. Make sure to avoid injury by avoiding icy spots, keeping your back straight and lifting with your legs instead of just arms and back. Make it a whole body workout!

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