Fun and festive as they are, the holidays have a sneaky way of ruining a perfectly good workout routine. With gifts to purchase (and wrap), cookies to bake, trees to trim, family to accommodate and parties to attend (all this on top of regularly scheduled life), it’s no wonder our exercise routines often get put on ‘pause’ until January 1.
But fun as they may be, the holidays can also be incredibly stressful (refer to the list above) and demanding. Exercise is key when it comes to busting stress and releasing those happiness-boosting endorphins, and maintaining an active lifestyle through the holiday season could be the difference between a stressful and stress-free celebration.
While it may feel impossible to do it all, staying active during the holidays doesn’t have to be difficult – it can (and should) be fun! Set your expectations early and make an effort to incorporate plenty of movement-based activities throughout the festivities, such as a snowy walk through the woods, a scavenger hunt or even just a dance-fueled cookie-baking session! Need some more ideas? Read on…
#1 — Make a New Tradition
Maybe it’s an annual 5k before the big holiday dinner, or a Christmas day hike with your significant other — if movement is something you value, consider making the great outdoors a yearly part of your holiday festivities. New traditions are a great way to create bonds with a loved one (especially for newlyweds), and an excellent way to strengthen existing ties (like those with family). Making time to get outdoors part of your holiday celebrations can add depth and meaning to what is already a special day, plan to take a family photo or collect bits of nature to decorate with along the way as an added activity.
#2 — Get Family in on the Fun
Have family in town for the holidays? Bring them along! Whether it’s inviting your sister-in-law to your favorite yoga class or taking a big family run before you all sit down for breakfast, moving together is a great way to reconnect with loved ones you may not get to see that often (it’ll give you plenty to talk about, too!) Planning an outdoor activity before a big meal is an excellent way to help kids get some energy out, especially if they’ve been cooped up in a car for hours on end. A big game of tag or a family snowball fight could be just what the doctor ordered for everyone involved.
#3 — Make it Manageable
The holidays are busy, scaling your workouts to be more manageable during this crazy time of year can not only provide some much needed stress reduction, but make you more likely to stick to your routine, too. Planning 30 minutes of simple daily movement, away from the hustle and bustle, will make exercise feel effortless and fun instead of another task to cross off your list. Then once the festivities are past, you can get back to your favorite workout (and feel all the more excited for it).
#4 — Pencil it in
Even with the best intentions, the holidays have a funny way of taking over. Instead of leaving it your workout to chance, sign up for a class or plan your workout ahead of time and pencil it into your calendar (better yet, use pen). Knowing you’ve committed your plan to paper will make it more difficult to cancel on yourself. Want to take it one step further? Make plans with a friend to hit the gym together. You’ll not only have a workout buddy to keep you company but you’ll have someone to keep you accountable, too.
#5 — Try Something New
Maybe you’ve always dreamed of hitting the slopes, or wondered what snowshoeing is like — now’s your chance! Make movement part of an experiential gift to yourself, or simply plan to try something new with family as part of the fun. Even if you’re on the bunny hill all day or wobbly on your skates, you’ll surely walk away with something to laugh about and memories to talk about for years to come. Who knows, you just might discover a new passion while you’re at it!
How are you staying active this holiday season? Tell us how on Instagram or Facebook with @AvocadoMattress or #AvocadoGreenMagazine
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