Trying to balance holiday parties, shopping, baking, cleaning, entertaining and work may lead to some stressful times. What about eating healthy or physical activity? Finding time for fitness over the holidays may be hard because of the cooler weather and busy schedules. Including physical activity during the holiday season can help you prevent weight gain and release stress. Here are three tips to help you fit in fitness over the holiday season.
Tip #1: Schedule activity into your daily routine
Schedule your physical activity in advance by putting it on your calendar and treating it like an important appointment. Incorporate physical activity you enjoy doing at the most convenient time to accomplish your fitness goals during the busy holiday season.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend adults aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and 2 days of muscle-strengthening activity each week. Anything that gets your heart beating faster and activities that make your muscles work harder than usual counts as physical activity. If you are short on time, start with just 5 minutes. Set a reachable goal and work up toward the recommended amount. Just remember to move more and sit less during the day.
Tip #2: Incorporate easy activities to get moving during the holidays
Including these activities will help achieve your physical activity goals:
Park at the far end of the parking lot.
Take extra laps around the store before checking out.
Use the stairs instead of escalators.
Include mall walking to enjoy the decorations while window shopping.
Dance to your favorite holiday music.
Work out at home to an exercise video.
Tip #3: Create healthy holiday traditions
Adding seasonal activities to your holidays can be fun and also create healthier holiday traditions. Walk around your neighborhood instead of riding in your car to look at holiday lights and decorations. Incorporate winter activities such as sledding, ice skating, snow skiing, or taking a winter nature hike. After a holiday dinner, organize a walk, basketball or football game to catch up with family members while incorporating fun physical activities.
- Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd Edition, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Move Your Way, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Let the Holiday Spirit Move You, Clemson Cooperative Extension.