Winter is coming, and that means the holidays are upon us, too.
It can be a time of mixed feelings; on one hand, you’re looking forward to spending time with loved ones, spreading cheer and goodwill, or, at the very least, getting time off of work.
On the other hand, it means lots of stress, money, and extra calories from those holiday meals and sweets. To add to that, many people spend the holidays being very sedentary. They spend quality time together sitting on the couch, or watching Netflix in bed to get away from those relatives, or, of course, taking the infamous post-meal nap.
All of these things can make it hard to keep fit. But the good news is, your waistline won’t suffer if you stay active. We’ve rounded up a list of fun activities you can do solo or in a group. Gather the family to get some bonding time in, or use these exercises as an excuse to get out of the house after your aunt has a bit too much eggnog.
Go for a walk pre- or post-holiday meals with the fam.
Not only will these walks give you quality time with your loved ones, they can actually help you digest your meal better. Even a walk as short as 15 minutes can help you burn some calories and will leave you feeling refreshed. That’s a lot better than sitting on the couch and feeling more stuffed than the turkey, right?
Exercise during commercial breaks.
Watching the big game? Get in some lunges during the commercial break when you go to refill your plate. Or, make exercising a game! Challenge your friends and family to see who can do the most push-ups or jumping jacks. This small task will leave you all more refreshed so you can cheer on your team.
Participate in a holiday walk or run for charity.
If you’re feeling extra motivated or particularly charitable this holiday season, sign up for a walk or run for a good cause. This is something you can do by yourself or with a group. If you’re in Columbia, check out the Turkey Trax Run, which supports the Central MO American Red Cross, or the Jingle Bell Run, which supports the Arthritis Foundation.
Do yard work.
This might not be the most fun thing to do, but it does give you a chance to enjoy the crisp air and get some cardio in. Rack up a sweat while you rake up those leaves. Enlist some help from your family or friends and create a friendly competition out of your chores—winner gets bragging rights!
Get your steps in while getting presents.
Sometimes, last minute trips to the mall or grocery store are inevitable. While you’re out doing your shopping, take time to go all around the store, or walk all around the mall. Getting your steps in is just another way you can burn off some of those extra calories.
The holidays can already be stressful, so don’t make yourself even more stressed by trying to fit in a trip to the gym. These activities can be fun and low-key, but they still get your heart pumping and burn off some calories.
However, we do have a word of warning. Although you might be staying active, you can’t out-exercise a poor diet. Enjoy yourself and treat yourself this holiday season, but remember to keep a balanced lifestyle. Your post-holiday body will thank you.