While the winter holidays offer whimsy and excitement, they can make healthy living difficult. We won’t discuss how the holidays can derail your diet in this article (although we all know they can), but we will offer a few healthy tips on staying active this season.
Make a schedule
At home, plan your weekly workouts in advance to avoid sedentary habits and weight gain. It’s often dark and cold when folks get off work, and the JRMC Wellness Center offers indoor fitness options and classes that make it easy to stay on track, no matter the season. On the days that you want to opt outside, plan to wake up early to go for a run or take a walk on your lunch break.
During holiday vacations or family visits:
- Utilize your hotel’s fitness area
- Check with local gyms to inquire about day passes
- Find local trails or recreation areas to go for runs or walks
- Walk the neighborhood you’re staying in with your family or friends
Use exercise to de-stress
After work or holiday activities, it can be tempting to sit on the couch for the rest of the day (hello post-thanksgiving-dinner hibernation). However, research shows that this is a dangerous habit. According to the Mayo Clinic, research has linked sitting for long periods of time with obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels. Click here to read more about the risks of sitting too much.
Utilize work time
Here are a few ways you can move more at work:
– Take the stairs instead of the elevator
– Wear comfortable shoes that make it easy to move
– Schedule walking meetings
– Walk with a colleague on your lunch break
– Break up long periods of sitting by standing up for a few minutes every half hour
– Park in the far spot so you have a longer walk inside
– Walk to your colleague’s office rather than calling or sending an email
– Stand up during phone calls
Click here for 50 tips on moving more at work.
Utilize TV time
If you can’t give up your favorite evening show or nightly Hallmark Christmas movie, invest in a yoga mat, jump rope, free weights or resistance bands and get moving during the commercials.
While on the road and away from your local gym, exercising can be a big challenge. Fitness apps offer resources from tracking your movement to offering step-by-step workout plans. Click here to read a list from Active of their 18 top fitness app picks for 2018.
Set goals with a few friends and try to accomplish them together. That might mean going to the gym together or simply creating a group text to celebrate progress and stay motivated.
Set long-term goals
We challenge you to register for a race this spring! From a 5k to a marathon, having an event to look forward to can help you stay motivated and keep on track. Click here to view Arkansas’ upcoming races.
Be active for family time.
Try one of the activities below:
– Two-hand-touch football game
– Relay race
– Half-court basketball game
– Walk the dogs
– Be a tourist in your own town. Take your family to explore local trails, the library, museums and other attractions.
Enjoy holiday music
People of all ages enjoy a good Christmas tune. Turn the record on and start dancing!
Get out of the car
Before your holiday road trips, scout out the route you plan to take and find a few rest stops or parks with walking trails. Take a few minutes to stretch your legs and get active!
No matter where you are this holiday season, we wish you healthy, happy and safe days with those you love most. Message us with your healthy holiday tips for better nutrition or exercise, and your tip might be featured on our Facebook!