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Saturday, December 15, 2018

10 Tips for Squeezing More Exercise Into the Holiday Season

Photo by Brian (Flickr)

With the busyness of the holiday season upon us, I've got to admit that I sometimes skip my daily workout. I figure I have too much shopping, baking, and decorating to do and can always get back into the groove in January. But today, I realized that skipping my daily exercise routine has caused holiday weight gain and insomnia, and I feel more anxiety, stress, brain fog, and frustration. Can you relate? If so, let's squeeze more exercise into our busy holiday season with these ten tips.

Park Away From Your Destination

Can't find a parking space near the mall or grocery store entrance? No worries! We can park far away and walk. The few extra steps help us burn calories, and the fresh air can revive our mood.

Use Down Time to Get Moving

Often, I find myself sitting down to enjoy a short break while the cookies bake or I watch my favorite holiday movies. However, we could put this down time to good use and march, dance, or jog in place. That movement gets our blood pumping and helps us reach our daily fitness goals.

Take the Stairs

My girls love riding the escalator at the mall, but I challenge them to take the stairs instead. We also intentionally make multiple trips up and down our stairs at home while cleaning the house or arranging decorations. The extra steps we get while climbing the stairs are good for our waistline, heart, and brain.

Play With Kids

Our family holiday gatherings always include at least a few kids with extra energy to spare. Why not corral the kids and head outside to play tag or other outdoor winter games? We can improve our fitness and spend time together while burning off excess energy and cookie calories.

Participate in a Holiday-Themed Run

One of our annual traditions is running in a holiday 5K. My girls and I participate every year, and we usually invite our family members and friends to join us. The race motivates us to work out and train faithfully before the holiday, and it's a fun bonding event. Consider joining a holiday-themed race or obstacle course event in your community this year!

Find a Gym

If your holiday travels find you visiting a new town, sign up for a free trial membership at the local gym. One of my cousins did this last year, and we had fun working out together every morning before the day's holiday festivities started.

Take a Family Walk

Does your family love to eat like mine does? I can taste the turkey, stuffing, and pecan pie right now! That's why our holiday tradition includes a walk or hike after our holiday dinner. Aside from burning calories, we can also look at holiday lights or sing carols together as we get some exercise.

Play in the Snow

I love snow! Not only is it beautiful, but it's fun to play in. My girls and I enjoy making snow angels, sledding, and ice skating. Even shoveling snow can be a good way to get a great full-body workout during the holiday season.

BYOE (Bring Your Own Equipment)

We don't have to allow work or travel to hinder our exercise routine. Instead, we can pack resistance bands, weights, and sneakers into our work or travel bag. With these BYOE resources, we can do a few mini workouts throughout the day at our desk, in the airport, or in a hotel room.

Set and Keep Exercise Goals

I know our holiday schedules are packed with activities, but exercise is so important that we must add it to our to-do list. Until the end of the holiday season, let's commit to wearing a pedometer and walking at least 10,000 steps per day. For extra motivation, consider working out one minute for every dollar you spend on holiday gifts.

This holiday, let's commit to getting more exercise. We can stay active with these ten tips. In what other ways do you squeeze in exercise during the busy holiday season?

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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