30 Day Fitness Challenge: Fun and Fitness at Holiday Gatherings
The holiday season is upon us and many of us are looking for ways to stay fit while still enjoying celebratory meals with our families. This time of year does NOT have to sabotage your health goals. If you splurge a little on some goodies just incorporate some fun, high energy activities into your festivities. Here are some easy ways to stay on track by either creating a calorie deficit before the meal or burning calories after the meal.
1. Stay active the morning of the holiday feast.
If you normally go to the gym, get that work out in early. If there is a Turkey Trot in your town, cross that finish line! If you’re not a runner, go to that early morning spin class. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
2. Take a long walk before and/or after the meal.
Why not catch up with family members by taking a long walk? If you’re a dog owner, grab that leash and head on out for a long walk around the city, your town, or the park either before or after the meal (or both).
3. Autumn Cleaning.
How about those leaves on the ground? Get the family out early or after the meal to rake those leaves, bag them and get them on the road for pick up.
After eating that big meal and the turkey, why not act like one? Charades is a great way to have some fun with family and burn off those calories moving around or laughing so hard you can barely breathe!
5. Touch Football with the Family.
Bundle up and head outside to enjoy the crisp air and a traditional game of touch football with the family. And remember, it’s not about winning!
6. Hula-Hooping Contest.
Grab those hula-hoops, put on some fun 80’s rock music and enjoy. You’ve just brought a gym class to your home!
7. Nintendo Wii/ Dance Dance Revolution
This is an excellent time to allow family members to play video games. Active video games such as Dance Dance Revolution offer a great way to enjoy spending time together while having a little competitive fun. If you don’t have a video game console, then just do it the old-fashioned way: turn on some music, clear some floor space, and have a dance-off!
Just remember to enjoy spending time with family and loved ones. Enjoy the food, and have a great holiday!
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Jessica Graziano is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the James M. Benson Sports Rehabilitation Center at Hospital for Special Surgery.