‘Tis the season to get moving: 6 Tips to stay active this holiday

‘Tis the season to get moving: 6 Tips to stay active this holiday

Dec 22 2022

It’s the time of year when many of us have a jam-packed schedule with lots of feasting, shopping, and events. This often means exercise ends up on the backburner of our priority list, with the idea that January will bring a new month of opportunities.

By Deanna Dahlinger, RDN

What if we don’t need to wait until January? Making a few changes in our daily routine can help make the most of the last weeks of December and jump back into fitness. Here are some of my top tips to support your fitness goals over the holiday season.

1. Maximize Your Workout Time with HIIT 

Finding it difficult to squeeze in a workout with the hustle and bustle around the holidays? Consider high-intensity interval training, also known as HIIT. Workouts alternate between short, but intense, bursts of exercise in combination with intervals of rest or active recovery. HIIT is a great workout if you’re short on time, and it has amazing benefits such as improving heart health, promoting fat loss, and toning up muscles. 

Here’s an example of a 10-minute HIIT workout you can do on a treadmill or outside:

  • 3 minutes: running or jogging at a comfortable pace 
  • 1 minute: sprint
  • 1 minute: walk 
  • 3 minutes: running or jogging at a comfortable pace 
  • 1 minute: sprint 
  • 1 minute: walk 

2. Plan for Success

If you’re traveling this holiday season, create a plan to incorporate a workout into your travels. If you’ll be staying at a hotel, check if they have a fitness facility or pool for a quick workout. If you are staying with friends or family, bring resistance bands which can be cheap and easy to travel with. Make sure to pack your workout clothes and some sneakers in your luggage. 

3. Turn Chores into a Dance Party

Who says you can’t have fun while you knock out your to-do list around the house? You can turn virtually any chore into a workout by adding a movement. Vacuuming not only gets your steps in, but you are also using your arm muscles. Dance around while you vacuum and dust to elevate your heart rate! When decorating the christmas tree, incorporate a squat every time you have to pick something up. If you’re doing the laundry, take a 3 minute dance break after switching the loads. When wrapping gifts, do 30 seconds of crunches every time you finish a present. Preparing for holiday hosting has never burned so many calories!

4. Plan a Family Walk After a Holiday Meal 

You’ve just had a delightful holiday meal and you’re thinking of heading to the couch to take a snooze. Instead, grab the family, throw on your hat and coat and take a little stroll around the neighborhood. This not only will help kick that sluggish feeling after a heavy meal, but it’s also good for digestion. 

5. Plan an Activity for a Holiday Gathering

Instead of focusing on food, find an activity you and your loved ones can do that involves movement. Consider going ice skating, bowling or laser tag – all great ways to have fun with the family while being active. This could even become a holiday tradition!

6. Find Opportunities for Extra Steps

If you’re short on time, think outside of the box regarding ways you can incorporate more steps into your routine. If you’re heading to the mall to grab a couple presents, take an extra fast-paced lap around the mall. If you’re making your way to the grocery store, park your car a bit further. If you find yourself taking the elevator at work, try taking the stairs instead. Compounded over time, these little changes can add up and make a big difference in your health goals. 

Prioritizing your fitness goals doesn’t have to be stressful and time consuming, especially during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. I hope you find my above tips helpful to incorporate some activity into your holiday schedule this year and throughout 2023. 

If your priority this season is diving back into a fitness routine, just being mindful of improving your overall health or anywhere in between, you should have a health plan that supports these goals. To learn how Priority Health puts people’s priorities first, visit www.priorityhealth.com

About the Author: Deanna Dahlinger is a wife, mom, and registered dietician in Michigan who runs the lifestyle blog Dees Daily Dish. She loves sharing about fitness, healthy & easy meal ideas, and stories from motherhood that all parents can relate to.

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