How You – and Your Kids! – Can Stay Active During the Holidays

It’s nearing the end of the year, which means it’s getting closer to January and New Year’s resolutions. While you might want to ignore changing your habits until then, why not start thinking about healthy changes now? Sure, holidays are filled with family parties, traveling and lots of time shopping at the mall, but you can still stay active and fit through it all. And if you do, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your 2017 goals before January 1st. Here are a few easy ways to work exercise into the holiday season:

  1. Plan ahead when traveling. If you’re hitting the road to visit family, look into temporary gym memberships in their town. Many gyms will let you try out their facilities if it’s your first time, which means you’ll be able to test out a fun new class for free. You can also look up running routes or hiking trails in the area you’re traveling (especially if you’re heading somewhere warm).
  2. Find a fun, holiday-themed run. Almost every city has special races happening this time of year—whether it’s a Turkey Trot, Santa Run, or New Year’s Eve race. Sign up now so you can schedule training runs, forcing you to prioritize exercise. An even better idea is to get friends and family to sign up as well—you can train together and motivate each other. Keep checking back on this blog to learn about upcoming Michigan holiday races.
  3. Squeeze in quick and simple exercises. Any movement—even if it’s taking a 30-minute walk outside, going up and down your stairs or doing simple squats while dinner is cooking can help reduce your risk for serious diseases like diabetes and heart disease. There are a few other things you can do to stay active, like short workouts during commercial breaks and exercises at your desk at work.

This is also the time of year when kids are likely to overindulge in sweets and feel less motivated to go play outside in the cold. Here are a few ideas to get the whole family moving:

  1. Play a game of pick-up football. Encourage your kids to play outside on weekends instead of just sitting in front of a screen. Touch football is an easy game to organize—all they need is a football and some family members or friends. Not into football? There are plenty of other fun yard games you can play with a group.
  2. Make raking leaves more fun. If you have a yard, you probably need your leaves raked. Get your kids excited about it by playing a fun game with them – like leapfrog, making leaf angels, or building a fort! At the end, see who can rake the biggest pile—winner gets to pick what movie the family watches that night!
  3. Sign them up for a race, too. Make a pledge with your kids to participate in a fun run like a Turkey Trot – which is something you can do with your family and all get motivated for! There are a few sites that offer a variety of kid-friendly races in Michigan, including Michigan Runner Girl and Tri Find.

So, how are you going to get moving this holiday season? Tell us in the comments below.

Photo credit: lecates

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