We all have traditions which help make it feel like the holiday season has arrived. This year plan to enjoy your traditions, but also use those traditions to get you and your loved ones moving!
Here are some popular holiday traditions and how you can incorporate exercise into them.
Holiday Shopping: For most of us holiday shopping plays a big part of the season. Rather than fighting for the parking place right next to the doors, plan to park at the far end of the parking lot and get in a good stroll before and after your shopping. If you have a lot to buy you may even get added benefit of several trips to store packages in the car.
Viewing Christmas Lights: My family has always enjoyed looking at Christmas lights in the neighborhoods around us. Rather than piling in a car to make it a one-night event, bundle up and drive to one neighborhood and walk the neighborhood to see the show. You will get a better view of decorations and you can do it more than once during the season – each time exploring a new neighborhood.
Christmas Caroling: Caroling is kind of a lost art, but maybe your family could rekindle it! Take a walk around your block, stopping at each house to serenade your neighbors with your favorite Christmas carols.
Watching Christmas Movies: While watching your favorite movies this year, why not create an exercise chart to get you moving while you watch? For example, every time a character says, “Christmas” do 5 jumping jacks, when they decorate a tree do 5 sit ups, if there is a snowball fight run around the couch, etc... You get the idea! It will create a new way to enjoy old favorites.
Playing in the Snow: We don’t live where it snows, but we live within an hour of where it does. A day hiking and playing in the snow is a great way to “unplug” and spend some quality time with your kids. If you actively participate it is excellent exercise.
Holiday Meals: Most families have a tradition surrounding “The Big Meal”. Add to that tradition this year, by encouraging everyone to go for a walk after the meal…instead of falling asleep on the couch. You can enjoy the couch after the walk.
I challenge you to come up with some of your own ideas. Get out and move with your family this holiday season!