Keeping up with exercise can be challenging around the holidays. You are busy, perhaps even away from home and can feel pressure to socialize rather than be active. Here are some tips to fitting it in:
Take advantage of shopping.
Shopping usually involves quite a bit of walking. Make the most of it. Invest in an inexpensive pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps (which equal 30-minutes of cardiovascular exercise). Rather than being grumpy about the parking spot far away from the door, rejoice in the extra steps! Take a lap around the mall first, checking out the window displays and getting in extra steps without lugging shopping bags.
Share the spirit.
Visit your neighbors, sing carols, leave small gifts or simple cards and share the warmth of the season while getting some healthy steps in.
Enjoy old-fashioned games.
It may sound silly (but isn’t silly fun?), but active games are a great way to get the kids moving when they can’t go outside. It is a great way to build family memories too. Try some of these:
- Musical Chairs
- Relay races (egg on the spoon, clothes pin drop, balloon between the knees, etc)
- Balloon volleyball, baseball or basketball
- Do the hokey pokey
- Dance and freeze (start and stop the music)
Embrace something new.
There are many new active video games. The favorite in our house is Dance Dance Revolution. You can work up quite the sweat and thirty minutes goes by in the blink of an eye. We all practice during other people’s turns so we are up and going the whole time — and we get better even when it isn’t our turn!
Take it outside:
Rather than sitting on the couch, take your holiday chat for a walk. The fresh air will perk you up and it is a great opportunity to have a bit more privacy during crowded family time as well.
No matter how you choose to do it, finding ways to be more active this holiday season will help you fight the blues, keep sane and avoid the “jingle jiggle.”
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Eliz Greene is the Busy Woman’s Guide to a Health. Drawing on her experience surviving a massive heart attack while seven-months pregnant with twins, struggling to lose the 80 pounds gained during her pregnancy, and her background as an adaptive movement specialist, Eliz developed simple strategies and tips to help other busy women be more active, eat better and manage your stress.
As the Director of the Embrace Your Heart Wellness Initiative, Eliz travels the country energizing and inspiring audiences in keynotes and workshops on women’s heart health. She writes one of the top 100 health and wellness blogs. Find more at www.EmbraceYourHeart.com