The holidays are almost upon us, and with them, all the preparations, decorations, gatherings, and food! While these festive months are full of fun and family, they can also put us off our normal routines–and fitness is often the first thing we lose sight of. Here are a few tips to keep you moving this holiday season.
1. Get in Some Pre-Holiday Training
Let’s face it; the holidays can be physically exhausting with all the food preparation, house cleaning, and decoration hanging. Prime yourself for all the pre-holiday activity with some focused training. Get ready to hang those lights by incorporating step-ups with an overhead reach into your workout. Stretch your hamstrings and strengthen your quads with squats to get you prepared to pull decorations out of boxes. You can even do some “rowing” at home if you have an exercise band to loop around your feet when you sit with your legs outstretched. Pull back on the band and squeeze your shoulder blades together to get those arm and chest muscles ready to roll out cookies and pie crusts and lift young loved ones.
2. Make Your Fitness Festive
Holiday gatherings don’t have to be only about food. Whatever your normal fitness activities, invite your friends and add some socially-distant holiday flair this season. Why not enjoy a game of tennis dressed as turkeys or Christmas trees? Or set up a holiday golf tournament with a prize white elephant gift for each range of possible scores. Or theme your dance class with holiday music and string lights. Whatever activity you do, do it in costume (masks included) or add decorations and music. That way, you don’t have to choose between celebrating with friends and staying active.
3. Get in Some Big Day Warm-Ups
Before coordinating the oven schedule for each dish, setting up and decorating the tree, or measuring ingredients for your cookie baking marathon, make time for a little warm-up. Try these dynamic warm-up exercises from Team USA specifically geared toward older athletes. Or use a gentler series of yoga poses to ease into movement and get the added benefit of stress relief and mindfulness. Once you’re warmed up, you’ll feel ready to take on whatever tasks and surprises your big day throws at you.
4. Use Holiday Music to Motivate Your Movement
Whether you’re zipping around the house, making sure everything is in order, or sitting around the living room with family, festive music will lift your mood and get you moving! Maybe you have a dance party with your teenagers or grandkids (even if it’s over Zoom, they’ll love seeing your moves! It’s time they learned our favorites anyway. Whoever said disco was dead?). This holiday season is all about incorporating more movement into your everyday activities and being intentional about staying active.
5. Take After Dinner Decoration Walks
Often the holidays mean a lot of sitting. It’s not only sitting down to a big family meal, but we also sit to watch the parade or the game and sit around the fire for hours to chat with guests and family. This holiday season, institute “After Dinner Decoration Walks” and take the whole crew outside for a stroll to see how the neighbors have decked out their houses! A little fresh air and a stretch of the legs does the entire family good and gives you even more to talk about. Who knows, they might want to make decoration walks a new tradition!
The holidays are always a busy time with distractions from our usual routines. This holiday season, try incorporating movement and fitness into the busy-ness and festivities instead of trying to carve time out of an already full schedule. With all this movement, you might not even need a New Year’s resolution!
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