I know how it is. The kids are home on holiday break and parents have time off of work. Family gatherings and holiday parties fill the schedules. Any time that is not jam-packed with shopping, cooking or social outings is spent seeking some well-deserved relaxation on the couch. The holiday season undoubtedly can be stressful and taking the time for some R&R every day is beneficial. But in all the hustle and bustle, it is easy to forget that our bodies still need exercise.
Just because our minds are on vacation doesn’t mean our bodies should be. This goes for adults as well as kids. It is especially important during times when we have a break from our regular schedules to stay active because not only do we typically eat more during those times but we also don’t necessarily have a reason to move as much and we end up becoming sedentary.
Including physical activity as part of your holiday break can help you prevent that dreaded holiday weight gain, boost your mood and more effectively deal with stress, increase your energy levels, and get a better night’s sleep. For the kids, it teaches them that staying active is important and gives them an outlet for pent-up energy. Plus it is a great way to bring family and friends together to create fun-filled memories.
Understandably, going outside isn’t always feasible with chilling temperatures, rain and mud. But it isn’t hard to incorporate indoor exercise into your daily routines.
Here are Ten Fun Ways to Stay Active Through the Holidays:
- Have a dance party! Whether you make up the dances yourselves or follow along with a YouTube video, dancing to some upbeat music is a great way to get some cardio! Home alone? No one’s watching so you can bust out those moves you’d never want anyone to see!
- Start a family game night with Wii or Xbox games that involve movement such as Wii Sports, Zumba, or Just Dance. If you’re having a party with friends, invite them to play too for some friendly, active competition.
- Start a tradition to go ice skating every Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. Indoor rinks typically have public skating hours on these days and you’ll create a fun memory for years to come.
- Take the kids to an indoor bounce-house center. They won’t even know how much exercise they’re getting with all the fun they’re having!
- Play hide and seek with the kids. Younger kids, especially, always want Mommy and Daddy to play with them. They’ll have a blast running around looking for you, and you can get exercise while looking for them by running up the stairs or squatting down low to look under the bed or table.
- Speaking of stairs, use them! Take a few minutes to walk or jog up and down the stairs a few times. Have the kids do the same, just make sure they are careful!
- Play Simon Says. This timeless game can be the greatest form of exercise! Give commands such as “jump up and down” and “hop on one foot” to get everyone moving. The possibilities are endless!
- Try some simple yoga moves while watching television to stretch and strengthen your muscles and relax at the same time! Or, you can join your kids for a yoga session lead by Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube.
- Play the commercial game. While watching television, get up and do some sort of exercise during every commercial. Try simple jumping jacks or running in place, or strength moves like bicep curls or squats.
- Have a little extra time? Dust of those workout videos and give them a try! Or, visit Pop Sugar Fitness to find endless videos for all levels of fitness that range from 10 – 40 minutes in length.
These are just some fun ways that can help you and your family stay active through the holidays. Sit down together and make a list of activities everyone would enjoy, and make a pact that you will try to do as many as you can throughout the season. There is no need for perfection, just action. Every little bit of exercise will benefit you and your kids in a positive way. Try it for yourself and discover how great you feel!