Consider these holiday energizers. Exercise or physical activity in general can tend to go missing in action during the holiday season. If so, read on and find out how to keep active while you enjoy all the festivities of the season.
Parties, family gatherings, and many other social events dominate our time during the holiday season. It is a time of wonderful connection with family and friends and, hopefully, a time of great joy for everyone. Along with it comes all of the sweets, treats, drinks, higher fat foods, and simply an abundance of foods of all types put out at every event you attend. If you haven’t done so check out my recent post on tips to stay on track with your eating during the holiday season. Now the one thing that tends to go missing during the holidays is physical activity. It tends to take a nose dive for many days or even weeks and could derail you completely with your Thriving Health goals and lifestyle leaving you making another New Year’s Resolution to get back on track ….. again!
Why be active during the holidays? Physical activity is your lifestyle now as is healthy eating. The Christmas holiday season is an event, a period, an annual phase of your life that comes along every year as do many other events and phases. Your healthy active lifestyle is a part of who you are every day of the year which makes embracing it now the same as any other time of the year. Staying active will have all the benefits it does every day of the year but during the holidays it can give even a little bit more. It will add some much needed burning off of the calories of the treats and amazing food you do decide to enjoy. It will also energize you when you feel sluggish from all of the other less than active activities of the season. This, in itself, is reason enough to get up and stay active. So listen to the voice in your head this holiday season. What stories are you telling yourself to rationalize falling off track with your active healthy lifestyle?
You’ve likely worked hard this year and especially in the recent month leading up to a well deserved break. Everyone enjoys the social gatherings and the festive treats and meals of the season. I’m all for some quality down time and some indulgence of the special offerings of the season. While taking advantage of these remain conscious of your bigger picture.
You can have it all and enjoy the season while staying on track. Be conscious of your inner voice, watch for external pressures and influences and choose accordingly. Here are 7 great tips for staying active while enjoying the holiday season.
Your Active Holiday Tips
- Stick to your program. Keep your regular exercise schedule as close to normal as possible. Don’t be inflexible though. Consciously negotiate changes in advance to allow you to enjoy the season and stay active. Living your active healthy lifestyle is the BEST way to stay on track because IT IS your track.
- Maximize your time. Time likely feels more in demand over the holidays so here’s one change to consider. Lower your exercise time and boost your intensity. Check out my post on “The Afterburn” to see the value of this little change beyond the time factor.
- Get some activity into most days. If you can’t follow your regular exercise routine then get snippets of activity that add up to at least 30 minutes a day. Try parking further away and walking and take the stairs not the elevator. Break your workout into 2 shorter ones instead of one long one if that fits your schedule better.
- Walk, walk and walk some more. Take advantage of every opportunity to walk. Consider going for a walk for 30 minutes after meals. How about a brisk walk to check out the beautiful Christmas lights in your neighborhood. Here in Edmonton there is an amazing 9 block stretch of beautifully decorated homes called Candy Cane Lane.
- Be a snow angel. When shoveling your sidewalk do your neighbors too. You’ll feel great physically and happy in doing a good deed. Maybe there are people in your neighborhood who could really use this support.
- Try some new snowy activities. Here are a few less common things that are great exercise and great fun. Perfect for an individual, family, or group. Cross country skiing, snow shoeing, skating, downhill sledding or tobogganing, or downhill skiing/snowboarding. If you don’t have the gear you can probably rent it.
- Break out the games. How about playing that latest virtual reality game. They can get you active and be family fun at the same time.
If you live is less than snowy climates be creative about how you can be active. Just get out there and enjoy an active holiday season.
Enjoy all the holiday season has to offer!