What if some of those holiday events crowding your calendar and disrupting your routine could actually help you meet your fitness goals? Make it happen by picking a holiday event or two that involves exercise.
Many towns host low-key Turkey Trots, often benefitting local food banks. Walking or running in a Turkey Trot could be a nice way to spend some time together and work up an appetite for the holiday meal. Or just catch up and go for a walk around the neighborhood together. The non-chefs can walk before the meal, the chefs can walk after the meal while everyone else cleans up.
When friends and relatives visit, find a way to get outside together. Many gardens and zoos have holiday light displays, which could be another way of celebrating the holidays and getting a little exercise at the same time. For those of us in cold areas or with nearby mountains, county parks and Sno-Parks offer snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
No equipment? Go sledding and then build a snowman. Some of our kids’ favorite winter memories are of sledding at the Sno-Park. And it wasn’t just the kids speeding down the hill- kids love watching you slide down and plow into piles of snow.
Getting a $5 or $10 permit to cut your own tree on National Forest land is another way to combine getting outside with holiday spirit. Even cutting your own tree on a farm can provide a little exercise, at least if you spend as long walking around and picking one out as we do. Bring a thermos of something hot- spiced cider, maybe?
For my own holiday exercise, I’m skating in a local ice rink’s holiday show. Last year my friends and I chased Santa in this silly group number.
It all goes with my number one rule for exercise– make it fun.