Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Holiday Fitness for Families

Now that Thanksgiving is a fond memory and we are in the middle of celebrating Hanukkah, the Holidays have officially begun!

For most families, life is hectic all yearlong.  But, schedules become even crazier in November and December as parents and children add holiday parties, recitals, shopping and entertaining to their daily to-do's.  This means fitness can easily take a backseat to the "fun."

It's essential to find ways to fit in family holiday fitness, and I promise there are ways to do it that won't turn you - and your kids - into a Grinch.
  • Planning on displaying a Christmas tree in your home?  Cut your own!  Not only will you skip the crowded tree lots, you'll have the opportunity to get fresh air and a great arm and core workout by acting out your childhood dreams of being a lumberjack.
  • Make the most of your shopping trip and hoof it around the mall. Print off your local mall's online store map and plot out all the stores you need to visit. Instead of planning to hit the stores in the most convenient way possible, plot out a way that requires you to walk the greatest distance between each store. You'll get your shopping and your cardio workout in at the same time.
  • And don't forget to take the stairs and park in the far end of the lot. Those extra steps add up too. How about walking a lap around the parking lot before you go home? Extra points if you're carrying heavy bags!
  • Drive to the neighborhood in your city known for having the best holiday lights, then spend an evening walking around the neighborhood while enjoying the scenery.
  • Feeling ambitious?  Plan a family day trip to go ice skating, skiing, snowboarding or sledding. 
  • Sign up a holiday-themed run or walk in your area.  Washington, D.C., offers holiday-themed events with names like "DC Jingle Bell Run" or "The Snowman Stampede." There are even children's courses with elves and reindeer!  Spend a Saturday morning enjoying exercise as a family while raising money for a great cause.
The trick to staying healthy during the Holiday is to plan ahead and make the season work for you. You may not be able to hit the gym for your regular Zumba class, but that doesn't mean you have to forgo exercise altogether. And, as the seasonal saying goes, "The more, the merrier!" So, add your children to your workout routine and add fun.

To lean more about Fitness for Health and our seasonal fitness offerings, visit www.FitnessForHealth.org.

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