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How to Stay Active This Holiday Season

posted Nov 20, 2015, 7:52 AM by Julia Quam

Our wellness theme this month focuses on how to winter-proof your workout. Last week, we discussed how to dress properly when exercising outdoors in cold weather. But it’s not only the cold and lack of sunlight that can make it hard to keep up a regular winter workout routine. The winter holidays—filled with celebrations, vacations, and travel—offer a break from your regular schedule, but that can make it harder to fit in exercise. Try some of these tips to stay on track this holiday season:

  • Plan fun family events that also happen to be active. You don’t have to desert your family for a solo trip to the gym (unless you want to!) in order to stay in shape this holiday season. Instead, bring the whole family on an active adventure! Consider signing up for a fun run or walk as a family (find one near you here). Ice skating is a festive holiday tradition that also happens to be a great workout. Find an outdoor rink near you here. Going somewhere snowy? Cross country skiing is an active way to enjoy the winter landscape, and many communities have rental shops. Our favorite idea: pack up the family and check out one of our area’s new trampoline gyms. Adults and kids alike can bounce out all their energy while getting lots of laughs and making memories. Local trampoline gyms include Flight in Springfield, Rebounderz in Sterling and Manassas, and Sky Zone in Manassas, Columbia, and Gaithersburg.
  • Reset your exercise expectations. When you’re busy with holiday parties or on vacation, hour-long workouts may not be feasible. And that’s ok! Holidays are for friends, family, and fun. You don’t have to be a stickler to your workout routine, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on fitness altogether. The good news is that research suggests short, intense workouts are just as effective as longer bouts of exercise.  It’s hard to imagine a schedule so hectic that you can’t find time to fit in this 7-minute workout. If intense exercise isn’t your thing, make an effort to walk rather than drive and take the stairs rather than the elevator whenever possible.
  • Build activity into your travel. It can be hard to move around when you’re in a confined space being transported from point A to point B, so think outside the box. Did you know that some airports offer gyms, yoga studios, or walking trails with scenic views? To learn more about your exercise options while on the road or in the sky, check out this article from the American Institute for Cancer Research.
  • Turn your chores into exercise. You have to do them anyway, so get more bang for your buck by getting your heart rate up while you’re at it. Clean those hard to reach spots and you’ll be down on your knees and up on your toes, working up a sweat, in no time flat. When winter snowstorms hit, put away the snow blower and get out the snow shovel for an invigorating workout that’s also productive.

For more ideas for how to stay active this winter, check out these tips or stop by a say hi when our dietitians visit your café.  Here’s to a happy, healthy holiday season!


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