By Jen Gendron: Health & Wellness Coach
The holidays are such a busy time with lots of rushing about from parties to school concerts and other events, not to mention trying to get in some shopping! With all this rushing around, our regular exercise routine is often abandoned. While we may not be able to stick to routine during the holidays, getting in some regular exercise is really important not only to help us burn calories and maintain our weight, but also to help to manage our stress levels.
If you are finding it hard to stick to your regular routine, here are some other exercise options that are good to try during the holiday season.
A really good option for exercising during the holidays when you are too busy to get to the gym or your regular routine, is to choose some indoor workouts. There are a few options for working out at home that you can choose from. By having some “at home” options ready, it will help to encourage you to exercise even when you don’t feel motivated to get dressed and head to the gym on cold winter days or when you are just too busy to take that extra time. Here are some options for exercising at home:
• Use one of your own favorite home-based workout
• Do a workout DVD or online workout
• Try some exercises, such as weigh- lifting or yoga to do in front of your TV while you watch a favorite holiday movie
• Dust of your treadmill, bike, or elliptical if you have one and put it to use!
You can also take advantage of certain activities you will already be doing during the holiday season that can help you get in some more exercise. For example, when you are holiday shopping, skip the big box store and head to the mall instead. With such a big parking lot, you can park in the back and burn some calories just walking to the mall entrance. You can take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator if that is an option, and walk down the entire length of the mall or make a few laps around to get a great workout.
Find Holiday Runs
Many areas will have charity runs during the holiday season that will be good encouragement for you to exercise. When you sign up for one of these runs, you will probably want to get some conditioning in, so you will be walking and running leading up to the 5k or whatever type of run it is. Then on the day of the event, you get in a really good workout and help a local charity at the same time. In our area, there are Jingle Bell runs before Christmas and usually a Resolution Run for New Year’s. Check out the Running Room for lots of great information on upcoming events!
Get out for Family Fun
If you have kids home from school or grandchildren visiting, planning an outdoor activity can be a great way not only to burn off some extra calories, but to also have some fun & enjoy some quality time together! Take advantage of a free skate or a walk in the trails. If the weather permits, try a little snowshoeing or cross-country skiing or even building a snowman! These are great ways to get out and enjoy the fresh air & to have a little fun while you are at it!
These are just a few ways to get in some extra activity over the busy holiday season. Remember, the holidays don’t need to be a time of excess weight gain. If we plan ahead and be sure to include some activity in to each and every day, we can keep our holidays active and start the New Year off right!