10 Tips to Stay Fit During the Holidays

10 Tips to Stay Fit During the Holidays

There's more than a month between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. It’s a busy time of year, but you don’t have to let your health fall by the wayside. Yes, it's a time filled with holiday meals, office parties and possibly even travel. Still, that doesn't mean you can't stay fit!

This holiday season, set a goal for yourself. Maybe you want to perfect your push-up or run up three flights of stairs without stopping. It can be any fitness goal that strikes your fancy.  

Here are 10 tips to make fitness part of the holiday season. Each offers a great way to meet your goals and keep the Thanksgiving pies and festive cookies at bay.

  1. Blue Bear Ice skatingGet out there
    Watching a movie and baking cookies may sound appealing, but time outdoors does a body good.  Go for a hike, lace up the ice skates, build a snowman or strap on a pair of snowshoes for a refreshing trek. Take your family members with you.
  2. Challenge yourself
    Some people like to run every single day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. If running isn’t for you, create your own challenge. Yoga, walking and jumping rope each day are good options. Choose an activity you enjoy and want to do.
  3. Pick up a rake or shovel
    Raking leaves and shoveling snow are great ways to get your heart rate up. They also give your major muscle groups a workout. You might even get the chance to do both during the holidays.
  4. Sightsee the old-fashioned way
    If you visit out-of-town family or go on vacation during the holidays, explore the local sights on foot or by bike. Closer to home, try to do the same when you run errands.
  5. Find a workout buddy
    Rolling out of bed at 6 a.m. to head to the gym isn’t always easy. Yet, you’re less likely to skip it when you’re one half of a workout duo. Ask a friend or family member to be your holiday exercise buddy. It’s so much each easier to stay on track when there are two of you with similar goals.
  6. Blue Bear Workout buddyTreat yourself
    Not with an extra slice of pie. Reward yourself to a new pair of mittens and hat. Buy that fleece sweater you’ve been eyeing to keep you cozy during cold snaps.  
  7. Make it official
    Register the family for a fun Turkey Trot, Jingle Jog or New Year’s Day sprint. You never know, maybe it will become a new family tradition.    
  8. Look for a special offer
    Many gyms offer deals during the holidays, so look for one close to you. Check to see if you are eligible for our Fitness Program. If you just joined a gym, ask about a free session with a personal trainer to learn some new moves.
  9. Relive your childhood
    Get your heart pumping and burn calories while tapping into your inner kid. Remember downhill sled rides and snowball fights? They can be just as fun for grownups.
  10. Watch TV
    If the weather outside is frightful, hang out in front of the TV.  Find an exercise program to get you moving for at thirty minutes or longer. The weather doesn’t have to hamper your ability to work out.   

What are your goals this holiday season?

Sources: Healthier Holidays in 1-2-3, leaving site icon Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021; Staying Fit During the Holidays: Plan to Keep Moving and Having Fun, leaving site icon Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, 2018.

Originally published 12/8/2014; Revised 2021, 2023