How to Stay Active Over the Holidays

The holiday season is here, which for most people, signals a departure from their typical exercise regime and dietary habits. Between traveling to visit family and friends, hosting at your own home, cooking heavy meals, and indulging in sweet treats, staying healthy during the holidays can pose a significant challenge. However hard it may seem, staying active during this time can help more than just your waistline - exercise is also known to give you an energy boost and reduce stress and anxiety levels, which often run higher during this season. Read on to find out some of our favorite ways to keep moving during the holidays!

Plan Shorter Workouts

If you’re visiting family or have guests in town, you probably won’t have time for long workouts. But, fitting in a little exercise is better than none, and planning a few short workouts can help you maintain your health goals. Try to schedule a couple shorter workouts a week that range between 10 and 20 minutes. Cardio, like running and walking, are always easy to fit into your day, but don’t be afraid to try out some quick strength training exercises, which can be done with nothing more than your body weight.

Sneak In Exercise

You don’t have to have a formal exercise program to boost your activity level over the holiday season; simply adding more movement to your day can help you stay on track. When you’re out, sneak in some extra calorie-burning activities by parking further away or opting for the stairs when you can. If you’re starting to shop for holiday gifts or waiting for a flight, take a few extra laps around the mall or airport concourse instead of sitting and waiting. In the kitchen, try adding in some calf raises or squats. Look for these kinds of opportunities throughout your day - after all, these little exercises add up!

Include the Family

It may be hard to pull yourself off the couch after that big holiday meal, but making exercise a group activity can help increase your motivation. Invite your family to come with you for a post-meal walk or start up a game football or hide-and-seek. You may just start a new tradition and help your family get moving!

Be Mobile

Nowadays, it seems like there’s nothing our phones can’t do. Before you leave for your holiday trip, download an app or a few workout videos. Whether you’re staying in a hotel, a friend’s house, or are playing host, mobile options make it much easier to workout on the go. If you’re worried about drawing too much attention to yourself, look for “silent” routines - they’ll give you a great workout without making too much noise.

Plan Active Activities

Around this time of year, there are many opportunities to get outside and celebrate the season. Plan a fun active excursion that involves the whole family, like participating in a holiday 5K, skiing, or even walking through a local holiday light show. You’ll get into the holiday spirit and get your steps in.

Be Mindful

Around the holidays, it's natural to enjoy your favorite treats. While exercise can help offset a few extra cookies or servings of pie, make sure you only indulge for a few days, rather than the whole season. Indulging in moderation and staying active will help you get closer to your health goals and enjoy the holidays to their fullest extent!

This article is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as or substituted for medical advice.  Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health care provider with any questions about your health or a medical condition.  Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have read on the internet.