Wellness | Five Tips to Sneak in Exercise

By: Christina Rico, Health Coach & Personal Trainer

The holiday season is here, and for many people that means making time for decorating, gift shopping, wrapping presents, baking, family gatherings, holiday parties, and other festivities in addition to your chaotic schedule. You may feel like you simply do not have enough time for exercise when there is already so much to get done this holiday season. Instead of worrying how you are going to fit exercise into your schedule, embrace the holiday season and use these five tips to sneak some physical activity into your routine.




1. Organize a family workout.

Since everyone in your family can benefit from extra physical activity, get everyone together for a hike, walk, game of Frisbee, or even a family 5k. The holidays are all about spending quality time with loved ones, so this is the perfect time to create a new family tradition. To make these even more fun, all participants can wear ugly Christmas sweaters or dress up as elves. If you come from a competitive family, you can turn the workout into a competition, and your family might even forget that they are exercising. Start a new tradition, have a great workout, and spend time with your loved ones!




2. Skip online shopping and go “power shopping” instead.

Let’s face it—you do not burn many calories when you are sitting at the computer desperately searching for presents. Instead, get out of the house and head to the mall. Park far away from the entrance, so you can get some extra steps in. Plus, it may be easier to exit and avoid all of the holiday traffic. While you are storming the mall in search of gifts, take the stairs instead of the elevator. For an even better workout, walk quickly from store to store. Who knew you could actually elevate your heart rate and get a good workout in while Christmas shopping?




3. Shovel snow or do some yard work.

If you have ever shoveled snow before, then you know how tiring shoveling your driveway can be. Do your family a favor and spend a few hours outdoors cleaning up the sidewalk—you will torch some serious calories! If you live in an area where it does not snow, you can still burn hundreds of calories by doing a few hours of yard work. Grab the shovel or lawn mower, and get to work!




4. Incorporate short, intense workouts into your routine.

When your schedule is chaotic, it is important to make the most of your time. Instead of going to the gym for hours, take a few minutes to squeeze in a short, intense workout. Believe it or not, a 10 or 15-minute workout is enough to rev up your metabolism and release endorphins. If you are traveling frequently this holiday season, take a few minutes to do some body weight exercises in your room.




5. Spend quality time with your children.

Round up your kids for some quality time, and you can all expend energy together. Take the kids bowling, ice skating, mini golfing, to the park or go on a walk and look at Christmas lights. You might be surprised how tired you will feel after a fun activity with your children.


Use these tips to get active this holiday season and you will to have to worry about making extra time to get to the gym!