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How to Stay in Shape this Holiday Season

  • Category: General Health
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Matt Gougler
How to Stay in Shape this Holiday Season

While jolly old St. Nick is credited with bringing joy to children worldwide, when it comes to fitness, he appears to have embraced a bah-humbug attitude. So, to avoid welcoming 2017 with a Santa-like physique, follow ATRIO Health Plans' tips to stay in shape this holiday season.

12 Ways to Stay in Shape

In the spirit of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” following are 12 ways that you can squeeze in physical activity during the always-hectic holidays.

  1. Wear a pedometer – If you don’t own a pedometer, give yourself an early gift and buy one. As a general guideline, strive to walk roughly 10,000 steps per day.
  1. Check your hotel’s amenities – If you’re staying at a hotel during the holidays – before booking a room – make sure there's either a fitness center or in-room exercise equipment.
  1. Ask your hosts what they have – If you’re staying with family or friends during the holidays, it’s not impolite to ask if they have exercise equipment; and, if so, would you be able to “borrow” said equipment during your stay?
  1. Fire up your computer – If your holiday hosts don’t have exercise equipment, bring your laptop and a workout DVD, or use your smart phone to stream online exercise routines.
  1. Leverage your natural equipment – Let’s say that you’re staying somewhere that’s an exercise-equipment-free zone, or you don’t have a laptop or smart phone. No worries, because your body – all by itself – is essentially a well-equipped gym. Try this workout: do jumping jacks for one minute, followed by 60-seconds worth of squat jumps, and then as many pushups as possible in one minute. Rest for 90 seconds, and then repeat three or four more times.
  1. Make it a family affair – If you’re surrounded by family during the holidays, why not make staying in shape a family activity. For instance, after every big holiday meal, take a group walk around the neighborhood. Other possibilities include breaking up the day with a game of flag football or heading to a rink for some holiday ice skating.
  1. Park far away – When you’re doing holiday shopping, make a conscious effort to choose a distant parking space. Granted, given the hordes of holiday shoppers, a distant parking space may be your only option!
  1. Move it at the mall – Speaking of the mall, use this shopping space to burn some calories before giving your wallet a workout. Specifically, prior to commencing shopping, first walk briskly from one end of the mall to the other. And, depending on the mall’s size, do more than one lap.
  1. Step it up at work – If you spend most of your working hours sitting, now is the time of year to get up and get moving. For example, instead of the standard sit-down meeting, suggest a walking meeting – either indoors or outdoors. Another possibility is to round up fitness-minded coworkers and together commit to taking walks during lunch or devising another type of lunchtime workout routine.
  1. Opt for the stairs – Whether you’re at work or out at the local mall, always opt for the stairs, rather than taking an elevator or escalator. And, if your house has stairs – or if the house you’re staying at does – hoofing up and down those a few times is a workout in itself.
  1. Tap the tail-wagger – Here’s a holiday win-win: Take your furry friend on an extra-long walk. Not only will you get his or her tail wagging, but you’ll be burning calories while bonding with your appreciative pet.
  1. Grab this rewarding gift – If your holiday inclination is to conclude that there’s simply not enough time to exercise, consider the fact that if you do make the time, it could be among the best gifts you can give yourself. That’s because studies have shown even small doses of exercise – such as from 10 to 20 minutes – can result in mood improvement, anxiety reduction, and a general sense of calm. Those are gifts of the priceless variety.