Staying Active Through the Holiday Season

When the weather turns cold and wet or snowy, it’s easy to make excuses not to participate in as much physical activity.  But don’t let all your hard work over the past few months be undone by a few clouds or snowflakes – make a plan now for staying active and fit this holiday season.  If the holidays are a source of stress or anxiety, regular exercise can help boost mood while burning calories and strengthening muscles. 

Yes, the holidays are often a busy and indulgent time.  But not all family activities must be centered around a heavily laden table.  Gatherings can also include a trail walk after brunch or if the weather allows, an outdoor game such as badminton or croquet.  When the snow flies, snowshoeing, sledding, skiing, or ice skating can help burn off the hot cocoa and cookies while having fun.  Or make memories by building a snowman or snow fort with the little ones. 

This year, many wish lists for holiday presents may be difficult to fulfill with supply chain, staffing, and weather issues.  Why not dust off an older video console and give a vintage dance or sports game a whirl?   Family members of all ages will enjoy playing interactive games that involve movement and a little friendly competition. 

While you are preparing for the holidays remember that vacuuming, dusting, decluttering, and yard work all count towards daily physical activity.  The more you move each day, the more energy you will have and the better you will sleep at night.  While the days are shorter, it’s still possible to get outdoors in the evening to tour a local light display but do be careful to wear clothing that is visible in the dark and carry a flashlight if you are walking near traffic. 

If you were among the many who invested in a home gym, stationary bike, or treadmill during the pandemic lock-down, it’s time to stop using your equipment to hang clothes on and hop back in the saddle when the weather is too cold or icy for outdoor pursuits.  If you use an activity tracker, you can set a challenge between a group of friends or relatives between now and the new year and pick a prize for the winner.  Check out some of the latest the free fitness-sharing apps available here.