It’s beginning to look a lot like your fitness routine is being replaced by the holiday rush. Even though you may be busier than usual with family, errands and social commitments, there’s always a little room for some fitness fun. Here are a few ways you can keep fit with family and friends over the holidays.

Caroling is a wonderful way to spread cheer while enjoying fresh air. The key is to go door-to-door to get you walking, rather than standing in a public place. You will keep fit, stay warm and warm the hearts of others. If it’s extra cold, try skipping from house to house or adding a couple of fancy steps and arm lines to your tunes.

Take exercise breaks during your gift-wrapping and card-writing duties. It will keep you moving and fit and prevent you from snacking.  Choose an exercise and perform eight to 12 reps between each gift you wrap or every other card you write. You can focus on strength or cardio, or mix and match throughout one sitting (which won’t really be “sitting” anymore). For example, wrap one gift, do eight sumo squats and repeat. Or wrap a gift, then do eight sumo squats, wrap another gift and then do 20 jumping jacks and repeat the set.

Playing outdoors will leave you feeling like a kid again. Go ice skating, tobogganing or snowshoeing. Even little things like making snow angels and a snowman will have you moving and smiling. For a bigger snow project, try building an igloo or a fort, and after the hard work you can nuzzle up inside with a hot cocoa. These activities are so much when shared with friends and family.

Yoga-lax by incorporating basic yoga poses to lazy pastimes like watching movies. For example, while sharing family stories by the fireplace, sit in a modified half lotus pose and alternate sides to open your hips. During a commercial break, settle into a forward fold to stretch your hamstrings or come into Warrior pose to strengthen your legs.

These small movements will add up and make a difference in your holiday lifestyle. Find and create opportunities to walk or take stairs at home, at the office and at the mall. Park your car far from your destination and walk the rest of the way. Hand deliver gifts, cards, invitations and season’s greetings to those you can. Take Fido out for a slightly longer walk; bring your family, too.

Keep your mind open to activity so you can be ready to sprinkle some throughout your day anytime an opportunity arises. Of course, try to be proactive! Keeping active will not only keep you fit, it will help clear your mind and relieve some of the holiday stress.

Katya MohsenKatya Mohsen is a personal trainer with more than 10 years of experience in fitness and sports training. Catch her practical fitness advice Thursdays on Slice.ca.

 

Stock image credit: Jupiterimages