The holidays can be a stressful time. From countless parties to attend, too many gifts to buy, and kids off from school driving you just a little crazy, it can be exhausting.
The truth is, staying active during the holiday season can help immensely. But, there’s often not a lot of time to fit in a workout on top of everything else going on.
Still, it’s so important to prioritize your well-being by making sure you exercise to make the holidays even more enjoyable. So here, we’re sharing our top five steps to stay active this holiday season.
1. Maintain your routine.
The first step toward staying active this holiday season is to maintain your routine as much as possible. While it’s certainly more difficult to do so when you’re off work and heading to countless holiday parties and events, but as much as you can, maintain your normal routine.
Sure, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve are special and you should certainly go with the flow and enjoy all the day brings. But, when it’s not an actual holiday, make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating well, and remaining active. You’ll feel so much better because of it!
2. Create active social events.
If you’re the party planner in the family, create holiday events that involve some sort of physical activity. Plan for a family football game in the backyard after Christmas lunch or sign everyone up for a local 5K event.
Walk to your neighborhood parade or meander through the holiday markets. Simply getting off the couch and incorporating some movement into your holiday celebrations is a great way to stay active and avoid falling into a slump during December.
3. Don’t pay someone to clean.
Cleaning the house (and we mean deep cleaning) takes a lot of physical activity. Bending down to scrub the bathtub, vacuuming the entire house, going up and down the stairs as you tidy up -- all of these things count toward burning calories and toning your muscles.
So, as you prepare for the holidays, don’t pay someone else to do the cleaning. Do it yourself and get the boost of endorphins that comes from staying active.
Better yet, get the whole family involved so that the kids get off their screens too. Plus, the house will be sparkling clean for your guests. It’s a win-win!
4. Find winter activities you enjoy.
Winter is teeming with activities to do that are as fun as they are physical. You can go skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, sledding, hiking, snowshoeing… the list goes on.
Finding winter activities you enjoy is not only an amazing way to stay active during the holidays, but it’s fun too. And after all, an exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise means you’re more likely to do it regularly and for longer periods at a time.
How many times have you gone skiing thinking that only an hour has passed when really you’ve been out on the slopes the entire day?! The key is finding enjoyment in keeping your body moving. So, get out there and get involved in all the winter activities available in your area.
5. Seek out new ways to exercise while you travel.
Many families do lots of traveling over the holidays but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay active. Seek out new ways to exercise that keep your vacation exciting but so that you’ll also stay physically fit while you’re away.
Of course, if you’re going on a ski trip, this won’t be difficult. But, if your holiday isn’t based around an activity, find a local yoga studio and take some classes. Or download a mobile fitness app so that you can do your favorite workouts anytime, anywhere.
All in all, staying fit during the holidays isn’t about forcing yourself to do high-intensity workout regimens or maintain a six-pack. It’s about keeping your spirits high during a time that’s often stressful while combating the winter blues as the days are shorter and the cold weather can get you down.
By staying active, you’re relieving stress and you might then actually be able to enjoy the holiday season much, much more. So, instead of feeling forced into exercising or feeling guilty when you skip a day, think of it as a form of self-care.
Happy holidays from all of us at OOMPH!