The winter months can really take a toll on our overall health. It’s not as easy to get excited about staying in our exercise routines when it is cold, dark, or dreary outside. Eating yummy holiday foods and spending snowy days inside eating sweets with friends and family can result in a health slump. Seven simple and easy ways to avoid the slump while still keeping up the holiday cheer include:
1. Take the family out. One of the best things about winter and the holiday seasons is the amount of time we get to spend with our families. Use some of that time to keep the whole family active! Plan fun you can only have in the winter like ice skating, sledding, or even having a snowball fight!
2. Check out a museum or exhibit. Family visiting for the holidays? A good way to get off the couch is to spend an afternoon at a museum or attraction. Don’t sit down and rest—unless you really need it. Stay on your feet instead and spend a few hours walking through a gallery or exhibit. It will burn more energy than you might expect.
3. Try at least three new workouts. Try yoga, belly dancing, spin, or any other fun workout at least once. Check Groupon for super-cheap class deals or even check online to find free instructional videos. Make it an at-home workout date with a friend so you spend more time working out while having fun.
4. Walk through the shops. Most of us shop online nowadays, but visiting the stores for some of our holiday shopping can be fun and is definitely better than sitting in front of a computer. Consider braving the cold with some hot tea in hand and walking from store to store to window shop.
5. Stick your workout in between your favorite holiday movies. We all love to curl up and watch cheesy holiday movies. Take a workout break instead of a commercial break every 10 minutes and do some jumping jacks, pushups, or run in place. Cuddling up with your loved one? Make it a friendly competition by seeing who can do more reps in two minutes.
6. Share your leftovers. With the holiday season comes lots of cooking and baking. Don’t get stuck with all your goodies. Wrap up your delicious cookies, pie, lasagnas, and whatever you make and send it over to neighbors or your local food shelter. You’ll get less calories and more warm fuzzy feelings!
7. Take the stairs. Sure, it’s an oldie, but it’s still a goodie. Whether you live or work in a high-rise or a lower building, consider taking the stairs rather than the elevator. It’s a fast way to get your heart pumping without being out in the cold. Even if you work on the 40th or 50th floor, you don’t have to take the elevator all the way up. Stop a few floors beneath your own floor and walk the rest of the way up.