It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! (If you are five years old, don’t have to buy anyone presents, nor worry about your health habits). Just kidding, the Holidays are great, but they do bring extra stress, more commitments, and little time for exercise. While you may have to modify your typical exercise routine, that doesn’t mean you should give it up. Keep in mind that exercise is critical for both your physical and mental well being. No matter where you are; the mall, your house, or even the airport, you can still stay active during the holiday rush.
Surely you will be headed to the mall this month. Put on your sneakers and get your workout and shopping done in one. Start by parking far away from the entrance, you can get in a good half mile walk and you won’t have to battle the crowds for the best parking spot. Be sure to take the stairs instead of the escalator, stairs are great for toning leg muscles and a good cardio workout. If your arms are feeling left out, those shopping bags are really just dumbbells in disguise. Do a few sets of bicep curls as you walk back to your car.
If you are planning on flying somewhere for the holidays you can still be active. At the airport avoid the people mover, it might be tempting, but it is really unnecessary. If you are tired from a long flight, walking is the best thing for you, it will help you get your blood flowing. While waiting for your flight walk around the terminal, do some yoga (if you don’t mind the stares) or just a little bit of light stretching. Be sure to scope out your destination for hikes or trails to walk, so you can be active upon arrival as well.
If you are hosting guests, plan activities that allow everyone to get up and moving. Touch football is fun, cheap, and a great workout. If you don’t like football, any game will do, even tag or duck duck goose if there are little ones. Instead of driving to go see Christmas lights, bundle up and walk to them instead!
Keep in mind that 60 minutes per day of activity may be ideal, but anything is better than nothing. As little as 10 minute of exercise a day has been shown to have health benefits. What are your favorite ways to stay active during the holidays?
Heather Mason is a Registered Dietitian who holds a Master’s Degree in Nutrition Science. She has a passion for debunking nutrition myths and helping people discover delicious and healthy food. You can read more posts from her on her blog, Nutty Nutrition.