It’s that time of year again. When you’re busy juggling family events and festive parties, it’s easy to forget about your fitness routine for the holiday season. But you don’t have to deprive yourself of anti-stress benefits exercise – or fun – when you need it most! You can find ways to adapt to fitness in small amounts that will help you find a healthy balance.
To be clear, a little indulgence during the holidays never hurt anyone. But like Beyonce said, nor did a little sweat. Staying healthy is about finding a balance that is actually enjoyable for you to maintain. “exercise snack“- doing short bursts of exercise – has a ton of health benefits, so you don’t have to spend all your family time working out. Instead, you can indulge wisely and make room for exercise in the nooks and crannies of your vacation – even if it’s just a few minutes at a time.
Some of these suggestions may seem too small to make a difference, but a recent standardy suggests that “exercise snacks can be an effective way to improve physical fitness and another study concluded that even breaks of less than a minute can improve cardiovascular fitness. No matter how busy you are, you can definitely find a few minutes here and there!
Go for a walk outside
When holiday stress hits, put on your shoes for a walk. It’s a great way to distract yourself from your to-do list while prioritizing the health and fitness goals you’ve worked so hard for.
Often when times are stressful, we crave comfort. Foods, especially foods high in sugar or carbohydrates, are an easy-to-reach comfort tool. But exercise is also a great way to relieve stress.
To research suggests that 30 minutes of exercise will help you release endorphins – your body’s natural source of feel-good chemicals. But others to research shows that even 10 minutes of walking can lead to decreased anxiety – especially if you follow it with a quick meditation session. Not only that, but studies also suggest that walking for 15 minutes can cut sugar cravings in half – a handy benefit this time of year.
Do 10 squats
Squats are a great lower body exercise that engages the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Doing ten will get your blood pumping, which will help stave off those sugar cravings.
Walk around the house 10 times
Walking around your house ten times, even if you’re in your pajamas, will keep you on track to achieve your goals. Even if you don’t have time to prepare for a windy ride, you can still sweat while walking indoors. You will benefit from all the benefits of walking without even having to leave your home!
If you want to walk even further with me and Al Roker, check out the Start the Walking Challenge TODAYe. With nearly 120,000 members in our Facebook family, you will never feel alone! There are tons of people on call to help you achieve your vacation fitness goals.
Do 10 push-ups against the wall
Sometimes you just need to distract yourself long enough to curb your cravings. Why not befriend a wall? Here’s how: Stand against a wall and place your hands wider than your shoulders. Step back with your feet and perform 10 wall push-ups. You may feel a burn in your upper body muscles. This is good news and it means your body is working!
Similar to the squat hack, performing this upper body workout will likely leave you more energized and strengthened in your commitment to your health. You may even feel energized enough to skip the cookies. But whether you ultimately choose to eat the treat or not is beside the point. The thing is, you stopped short and did something healthy for your body!
Smash into a wall sitting during commercial breaks
Visions of sugar plums dancing through your head while watching your favorite holiday romantic comedy? When there’s a commercial break, sit against a wall for the entire break. Don’t have space on your wall to make a seated wall? Even better! Lower into an air squat and hold it.
With this hack you distract yourself while watching the show. Continually bringing your attention back to your body will help you remember that you want to choose your habits instead of drifting on autopilot. Even a commercial break can become an opportunity to get stronger!