Exactly How To Use Exercise To Stay Balanced This Holiday Season

Photo: Léa Jones

Working out is not only important for getting strong and energized; it’s also a great way to release stress. And let’s face it: We can all use a bit more stress-busting around the holidays. So don’t wait until January 1—make the time for exercise this holiday season, and reap the benefits of how you are able to stay strong, fit, and healthy, even with the extra holiday goodies and regular routine disruptions.

Here are five tips to help you stay active and work in fitness throughout the holidays, while creating great habits to ring in 2018.

Schedule time for movement every single day.

It doesn’t have to be grueling, time-consuming, or elaborate, but sweating first thing on a holiday is sure to put some extra holiday pep in your step. Try doing an online workout before eating breakfast (you can sneak in a cup of coffee first if you'd like), or bundle up and run in a local holiday 5K. Invite your family members—you may have so much fun that you end up making it into a tradition. Getting on your feet for a walk after a large meal is a great digestive aid, because when we sit we compress our organs. As we begin to move around gently after a meal, our digestive system gets working—and everyone could use that.

Make it a holiday, not a holi-"week."

Get back to active living the very next day. How? Schedule a real workout the day after your holiday party. Don’t let one day of overindulging set you back—start fresh the next day by enrolling in a class, going for a run or walk, or hitting the gym.

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Plan, but keep it simple!

Plan for and schedule short workouts when you have breaks in the day or time alone. Remember, it can help you manage stress, digestion, and physical energy. To help you stick with the workouts, put them on your calendar, even the short breaks.

Make it fun.

Go ice skating, sledding, or have a snowball fight. Active, festive fun is a great alternative for annual friend gatherings or an interactive activity to get the kids and in-laws out of the house over the holiday break. You can also suggest the office holiday party include a fitness activity.

Let your holiday spirit shine through.

Whatever you choose to do or not do this holiday season, don’t get down on yourself. This is the time of year when people love to indulge, and that is totally OK. Let yourself have that piece of homemade cake, or skip one of your regular workouts. Recognizing that holiday spirit, socializing with friends and family, and adding treats can add to the quality of your life and fill you up with energy. Use these tips to find your healthy holiday balance, and make sure to enjoy every moment of this season with those who bring you joy!

Need more tips for how to stay healthy and active during the holidays? Here are four restorative ways to make it happen.

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