Keep MOVING During the Holidays!

December 3rd, 2014 | By Marjie No Comments

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I know you don’t want to hear this, but … walking into the kitchen for more goodies and then sprinting back to the living room to watch the next football game on television is NOT what we mean when we say “keep moving during the holidays.” Jumping up when the doorbell rings and then diving back in front of your favorite video game is NOT what we mean, either.

It’s so easy – for ALL of us – to take a few days off our normal activity regime. We find ourselves falling into the trap of saying, “I’ll just skip my treadmill time today, then get back on track tomorrow.” or “It won’t hurt me to miss my Zumba class during these weeks with all the other events going on.” The problem is that too many of us don’t get back in the routine. So the trick is to keep exercising, even when (or maybe especially when) the holiday calendar is filled with events, special foods, and limited time for our normally scheduled activities.

Whether you’re a youngster, a teen, or a parent, you can help your family find ways to stay active from now through the new year. And in the middle of all that activity, you’ll find ways to enjoy each other’s company, too. At the end of this holiday season, you’ll be able to say “we had fun and stayed healthy, even while enjoying all the treats of the season!”

Number One tip for the grownups reading this article: Let the kids inspire you with winter activities. Chances are, many of the activities they choose won’t feel like exercise. They’ll just feel like fun things you’ve done with the youngsters. For instance, take a nature walk through the woods. If there’s a little snow on the ground (we can always hope), even better! There’s nothing quite as invigorating as the amazing quiet that a snowfall brings to the forest. Maybe you’ve wanted to try geocaching. Winter is a perfect time to start! Geocaching is a treasure-hunting game using GPS devices to find ‘hidden treasures.’ We haven’t met anyone yet who doesn’t get a kick out of a great ‘find’ or even just the hunt!

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Whether you have snow and ice on the ground or artificially manufactured at a rink or ski slope, take the family and head to the snow. From cross-country or downhill (even bunny slopes!) skiing to ice skating … hockey to making snow angels … it’s the stuff kids’ dreams are made of (and some of us grownups’ dreams as well).

If you find yourself weather-bound at home, try some of these indoor activities with the whole family:

Bring out the dance DVDs and let the kids laugh at your crazy dance moves!

Get a new game for the WiiFit

Play your kids’ favorite music and create some dances together

Have a “Someone Else’s Treasure Hunt” – collect old clothes, used toys and appliances, and recycle them with a local charitable organization or church

You’re going to think we’re crazy for suggesting this next one, but … have a Chore Party! Better yet, when was the last time you had Chore Olympics? Who can clean their rooms best? quickest? Winner gets their favorite dinner that night. Who can collect the most items of used clothing for “Someone Else’s Treasure Hunt”? Winner gets to pick a family movie for the weekend! Who can go the longest during the garage cleaning-out activity withOUT complaining? Winner gets a new book or toy or CD!

Perhaps the best activity of all for a family this winter is … volunteering. Consider giving some time at a local soup kitchen or children’s hospital. Or walk through your neighborhood collecting donations for the food pantry. Or organize a jump-rope-a-thon to raise money for a local shelter. Let the kids come up with suggestions … you will be so proud of how much they want to help their neighbors, and how creative they will be with ideas!

Of course, there are always indoor activities like basketball, indoor swimming, batting cages, tumbling, dance, and more. What do your kids love to do? It’s okay not to do something organized. The important thing is to let everyone do something they find enjoyable. That’s what keeps people of all ages interested, enthusiastic, and committed to MOVing through the holidays and all year ‘round.

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