How to fit in exercise during the holidays

November 5, 2015 Providence Health Team

The holidays are almost here and soon life will be more hectic than usual, with family gatherings, vacation, shopping and parties.

For many people with crazy schedules, exercise is the first thing to go. But you may need exercise more than ever during the holidays, not only to keep your heart healthy but to manage extra stress and keep those extra pounds from eggnog lattes at bay.

Walk, run, hike

Here are some ways to keep moving from Thanksgiving to New Year’s:

  • Create a new tradition: Sign the family up for a holiday 5K run, go ice skating or join a caroling group.
  • Schedule your exercise: Add a specific activity to your schedule and stick to it. Try to exercise before social events and big meals to feel refreshed and relaxed.
  • Do yard work: Snow blowers and leaf blowers are convenient, but shoveling snow and raking leaves are great ways to get the heart pumping and fit in exercise without going to the gym.
  • Play with the kids or grand kids: instead of watching TV, kick a soccer ball around, swim at the local pool or go on a hike.
  • Sight-see on foot: If you are on vacation, walk as much as you can instead of grabbing a cab or sitting on a tour bus.
  • Take the dog for an extra walk: Use this time to clear your head and lower your stress before you dive back into your busy schedule.

Keep the weight off

On average, Americans gain 1 to 2 pounds during the holidays, and for many the weight tends to stick. That can add up over the years.

Keep moving so your New Year’s resolution isn’t about going on a diet.

Need more advice?

Talk to your Providence provider.

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