So, Christmas is a week from today! I bet the holiday parties have been in full swing for people for a few weeks already though.
I have a few tips for sneaking in some exercise on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I figure most other websites and blogs give you advice on how to eat healthy (portion control, use a smaller plate, don't over indulge, pick the healthier options on the table, etc) but not many give you advice on getting some exercise in.
1. Get outside and play with the kids.
Let me start by explaining that my mom has 4 brothers and 3 sisters, on average they each have 2 kids. So, when the whole family gets together there's a bunch of kids. When I was younger as soon as we got together we were outside. We never stayed inside for more than 20 minutes. The rest of the time we were outside playing (or at least wandering around my aunt's 7 acres)
So instead of sitting inside get outside with the kids and play! Play a game of tag or kickball or ANYTHING. Playing with kids can burn between 129 and 252 calories per 30 minutes. 30 MINUTES! That's no time at all and you can burn off at least one side dish.
2. Take a pre/post dinner walk
After dinner instead of sitting around gabbing why not take the whole gang out for a walk? A short workout is better than no workout at all, right? Round up the whole gang for a 30 minute walk. The family can work off some of the goodies. Walking a 30 minute mile for 30 minutes burn between 65-124 calories.
3. Offer to help
There were always a million dishes after holiday get togethers at my aunt's house. The head count was usually over 60 people! I can remember my aunts and my mom standing around doing dishes together while they laughed, joked and talked. Get in the kitchen and help with the dishes! It burns between 60 and 102 calories in 30 minutes. Instead of leaving after all the food is gone, clear off the table, and help, rinse, dry or scrub dishes. Your family and your body will thank you!
4. Treat it like every other day.
Okay, this one isn't about sneaking but, it's good advice. People like to make themselves believe that holiday calories don't count and that Christmas and Thanksgiving are good excuses to ditch their workout or indulge (or both!). On Thanksgiving I went out for a 30 minute bike ride. It wasn't a long workout but, it was better than nothing. Do you normally go for a 7 AM run? Then go! Bike ride before breakfast? Go on it! Is your gym open? Use it! Fit in a workout when you can these days.
5. Visit with the family, don't wait for them to visit you
During gatherings the family is spread throughout the house. Aunt Susie's in the kitchen, Uncle Joe is on the front porch, and the cousins are chilling in the backyard. You want to catch up with all of them right? Don't just sit on the couch and watch the game, waiting for them to come by. Go seek them out. Standing burns 4-6 more calories per hour than sitting. Standing will help you burn 32-54 calories per half hour. Think about it. If you stand for 4 hours that's 256-432 calories! And don't forget the extra calories from walking around!!
These are just a few of the ways you can work exercise into your holiday. But don't forget, if you are hosting the festivities there are even more ways to burn calories. Cleaning the house, doing the yard work, cooking dinner, these all burn calories.
**The calories are based on a 118 and 200 lb person. I found all the calories burned at SparkPeople and Health Status
Some other links on burning holiday calories
Spark People Blog