Holiday Fitness Tips
Last updated: Dec 05, 2012
By Joy Pierce Mathews for Summit Medical Group
Reviewed by Michael R. Dunne, DPT, ATC
For many of us, the holidays mean spending time with friends and family, decorating the house, cooking special treats,
and making extra shopping trips to find just the right gifts for loved ones.
Although they’re fun, holiday activities can take time away from your fitness routine.
Even if you get in fewer days of exercise during the holidays, you can take these steps to help stay active:
Missing a workout or 2 during the week won’t ruin your fitness routine overall. Do your best. Work out as often as you can. And get back to your exercise routine at the start of the New Year
Set the Scene
Have a holiday exercise plan in mind for the month. Schedule your workout for the same time each day. You're more likely to exercise if you've arranged a time for it
Build in Backup
If you miss your scheduled workout, have a backup time in mind. For example, if you exercise in the morning, have an alternate time after work or in the early evening to get in at least 20 to 30 minutes of vigorous activity
Work With the Weather
Don’t wait until conditions are right for exercising outdoors. Dress appropriately. Exercising outside in the light rain, on cloudy days, and even cold, windy days can invigorate you! If the conditions outside are too extreme for your walk or run, use exercise DVDs at home or try a treadmill at the gym. Malls also can be good places to get in a fast walk without weather worries
Party With a Partner
Sign up for a dance class with your partner. Dancing is a great way to have fun with your partner, improve your cardiovascular fitness, and burn up to 300 calories an hour!
Consider a Class
If you’re used to exercising alone, take an exercise class to add variety and sociability to your holiday season. Some people find that a scheduled class helps ensure they will fit exercise into their busy holiday schedules
Sneak in Steps
Add extra steps throughout your day. Instead of taking an elevator, use stairs. If you’re visiting the mall or grocery store, park as far from the entrance as possible. While you’re shopping, take an extra lap or 2 around the mall
Favor Family and Friends
Walking, sledding, skating, cross-country skiing, and playing indoor sports such as basketball and volleyball are fun and healthy ways to stay active and enjoy friends and family during the holidays
Check Into Chores
Raking the leaves and shoveling snow are good ways to keep moving, increase your fitness, and burn calories
"Taking your overall activity into account is the best way to maintain your fitness level during the holidays," says Michael R. Dunne, DPT, ACT." In addition, the holidays are a good time to mix up your routine a bit and try new things," he adds. "Remember that every activity you add to your day counts toward your fitness during the holidays and year 'round!"