Here are some ingenious ways to stay fit during the holiday season.
Written by Jack Atticus
With the holiday season upon us, it can be difficult to stick to your regular workout or exercise schedule. The days get shorter, work schedules can get crazier, and a lot of us need to take time off to visit our family and friends for the holidays.
With all that being said — a lot of us wake up in the dark, and come home in the dark — making it difficult to really fit in a run, or even have time to go to the gym. Not to mention the toll this unstable schedule can take on our mental health.
The good news is there’s a lot of physical activities we can do, and there’s a lot of things to be grateful for — which is really the whole point of this season anyway, right?
Here are 5 simple ways to stay fit and fight the gravy gut this season:
1. Harvest Some Fall Activities
While some people may get bummed out by the colder weather and lack of sunlight, the plus side is that fall is a season that has a lot of outdoor activities that you can take advantage of.
If you have a pumpkin patch or apple orchard nearby, GO. It’s a great way to not only get outside and take home some freshly picked produce, but you can also use this as a fun way to get some steps in.
Believe it or not, walking through a pumpkin patch or an apple farm is a great way to burn calories, and most of the time you don’t even notice how much exercise you got until you get home!
2. Sign up for Events or Races.
Whether you want to do a Hot Cider Hustle for running or Throwdown for CrossFit, there’s plenty of activities going on in tons of major cities.
If you’re nervous about entering a race because of the hardcore runners, don’t be! A lot of races double up as charities and tons of people go to walk for a good cause.
Entering to walk is a great way to build friendships with other like-minded people who want to give back and make a difference. There really is no losing in charity races.
3. Do a Turkey Trot After Dinner
You know that feeling you get after you eat holiday dinner where all you want to do is crawl in a hole and take a forever nap? Do yourself a favor and take a walk instead.
As much as that sounds like the exact opposite of what you want to do, trust me, you’ll feel better afterward.
Even if you only go for 20 minutes, walking after dinner helps aid with digestion, burns calories, and can even lower stress — which I think everyone could benefit from during any family get-together.
4. Create New Traditions
With the holidays usually comes old family traditions that have been passed down since the dinosaurs walked the earth. A lot of people may have that tradition where everyone plops down, watches tv and has a few drinks with the family.
I’d be lying if I said drinking with my crazy Irish family and talking well into the night isn’t one of my favorite parts about getting together, but I do think there’s room for all of us to mix it up and start some new, more active traditions as well.
See if you can get everyone involved in a game of flag football, or play some catch. If there are kids in the family, play tag with them and get the adults involved.
You can also go the grateful route and help with the dishes after the meal, or even rake leaves for whoever is hosting. This way you’re up and moving, and showing gratitude for the people you love.
5. Stay Mindful and Be Grateful
Take a minute to really appreciate what you have. Whether you’re spending the day with your blood family, chosen family, coworkers, or favorite barista — there’s always something to be thankful for.
It can be as simple as a roof over your head, or as fortunate as a family who loves and accepts you. Regardless of what you choose to be grateful for, give your mind a minute to really take everything in, enjoy it, and never take it for granted.
A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body, and it’s the little things that we take time to appreciate that can make all the difference on our mental health and wellbeing.