The Clock Is Ticking And The Holiday Season Is Here! Just When Do I Fit In Exercise?

Posted by Beth Hartman

Yes, it’s that time of year again, the holiday season is upon us, It started with Thanksgiving and ends up for most of us with New Year’s Day, and all the parties, both office, friends and family, and all the food and drinks that go with them. It’s a fact that some people, (not mentioning any names here) can gain up to 5 to 7 pounds this time of year! And that’s a pretty large amount in a 30 day plus time frame. Just think how hard it was to lose 5lbs-10lbs.during the year, with the sun shining outside and the air was warm and balmy! It’s really not too hard to find yourself in this kind of situation and if you let this go unchecked, over the next couple of years, your weight can balloon up to 20lbs or more over a 10-year spread.

The holiday season can make keeping to a consistent workout routine difficult; between the chilly temperatures, shorter daylight hours, travel to visits with family, food-oriented gatherings and crazy stress related shopping schedules, squeezing in your exercise routine is tough. Staying active and focused during the holidays can be done, but it takes the continued commitment by you to get it done and see that you maintain the focus you’re going to need to get you through this seasonal tempting time.

The big thing is not to be too hard on yourself. A lot of people who overindulged during the Thanksgiving feast simply writes their previously adopted “Healthy Lifestyle” off to, well this happens every year, so I’m going to enjoy myself now and pay for it later. Like we mentioned above. For a lot of us, that “pay for it later” attitude can wind up to not ever paying what is owed and you soon find yourself using those gift cards to buy yourself some larger pairs of pants, for the obvious reasons.

Now don’t get us wrong. We all like and enjoy the holiday fare that happens at this time of year. After all, we gather with family and friends and during those family parties, food is usually the common means by which we celebrate being together! After all, who doesn’t have fond memories of eating their favorite foods with family at this time of year? That’s part of the holiday season magic, right?

But there are ways to stay the course and maintain your healthy commitment that you might have made this time, last New Year’s Eve! And its really not too hard to fit in these few activities to make sure you get a little physical, as your dashing through the snow, from store to store. But one word that we want to stress now, during this festive season, but also one that can be followed all 365 days of the year is moderation! Yes, that one word will do you a lot of good if you keep it always in mind as you’re loading up your plate at the various holiday parties you're going to be visiting this year.

But, with that said, here are a few simple things you can do that won’t really add much time to your active “Holliday’s”

As you go shopping, make it a point to park at the end of the lot and walk to and from your car depositing your packages. But put them in your trunk so they won’t be visible to people passing by. After all, how many times have you driven around a mall parking lot, trying to get as close as you could to the entrance? Why not avoid those fiercely fought over prime parking spots and park far away from the entrance. If you park five minutes away from the mall and walk at a pace of 4 miles per hour, (which is a nice steady pace), you could burn about 25 calories. Those calories definitely can add up after multiple mall visits to find perfect gifts for friends and family.

And once you get inside the mall, why not give it a once over and walk around the perimeter of it? This way you can check out any new kiosks that have made their appearance, offering specialty items for your holiday selections.

If you walk at a good brisk pace, (crowds permitting, so get there early) and do a full lap around the mall you’re going to be burning off a few more calories, without really doing anything but adding some small amount of time to your getting that perfect sweater for your Aunt Mary. In addition to beating the cold temperatures outside, you'll get some extra exercise in,  and don't forget you can window shop while you're at it.

Embracing the weather instead of vegging out like a couch potato, can help mix things up with your friends and family this time of year.

Some sports were made for the holiday season. A perfect way to bond with family and get in a workout could be a trip to the ice rink. For every hour you ice skate, you can burn about 600 calories, the same number of calories burned when you run 5 miles. Ice skating is an excellent form of exercise for people of all ages; the kids will love getting out and doing something different instead of trying to be good while the adults talk. They can let some of that bottled up energy lose as they skate around on the ice. And some of your older family members and friends will appreciate skating's low impact on the joints and its calorie-burning benefits. Along with these health benefits, bundling up in the crisp winter air to take to the ice is sure to put you in the holiday spirit.

Remember we mentioned the word moderation, in regards to food intake this time of year. The other word we'd like to have written on your forehead is “Commitment”! Schedule time each day to be active, hopefully, more of an exercise bent. Now we know we said that the whole purpose of this post is to try and get your exercise squeezed in, at this time of year. But nothing beats actually making a schedule on your calendar, that you can see every day! This way it’s a constant reminder that you need to be aware of, but don’t schedule an hour of time when you really don’t have it. Just commit to 15-20 minutes of it, enough to get your heart pumping and the blood flowing so your body’s aware that something is going on.

Remember, your body is a creature of habit, unlike many other things in your life. If it gets accustomed to working out those 20 minutes and it becomes less of a strain on you, increase your activity by doing more reps, or decrease the time spent on the treadmill, but maintain the same distance, or increase the weights or reps,  if that’s what you’re doing. So that your body feels like its being pushed. The more you do, the more your body will become used to doing. And this is how you constantly improve your goal thresholds.

Now, all this is good information, and nothing here is going to be a major hurdle in allowing you to go about your busy holiday shopping or prepping for the big day. But in order to stay on track, get reminded and be able to hold yourself accountable. You need to track just what and how much you're doing. Both this time of year and all year long. So why not get yourself an early Christmas present be getting yourself an Activity Monitor Watch like the Garmin Vivoactive HR Strapless Heart Rate SmartWatch  This “Smart Watch” is just that, Smart! It will not only track your movements, distance, steps, and calories burned but with its built-in HR and GPS, it can virtually keep you motivated by sending up your data to Garmin’s online community- Garmin Connect.

So, with everything we discussed here, there is NO reason why you can’t stay on track, keep busy getting ready for all the holiday functions that your booked to attend, and keep yourself on track to come out of the holiday season, if not even a little leaner then when it first started, then at least no heavier.

Happy Shopping, Dining, and Partying In…! What was that word again??

From the Holiday Staff here at

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