9 Tips for Staying Active Over the Holidays
By Dominic Pereira
We know that sometimes working out is simply not appealing. It can become frustrating constantly hearing that you should work out, drink water, go for a walk, pull out the yoga mat, etc. Rather than focusing on that massive list of things social media keeps telling you to do to keep your mind and body fit for the upcoming holidays, let’s focus on what it’s really about: your health, longevity and best of all, your happiness.
Instead of thinking, “I REALLY don’t feel like working out right now, especially with all this great food!”, think about how you feel after a workout or when you simply move your body for a few minutes. We forget that it’s not always about obtaining that six-pack or growing bigger muscles, it’s about feeling good in your own body and finding happiness in becoming healthier each day. We’re not going to tell you to go for a 5K run, instead, we’re going to share alternative ways to bring movement into your (and possibly your family’s) life during the holidays.
9 Tips for Staying Active Over the Holidays
1. Go for a Walk
Grab your parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, whoever and go for a walk!
Walking has such great benefits including:
- Boosting your mood. Since walking releases those feel-good endorphins, you’ll get an instant mood lift! It also helps if you’re walking with people you like!
- Burning calories and helping you lose visceral fat (aka belly fat). According to this study, walking had positive effects on obese women. These women walked between 50 – 70 minutes three times a week.
- Strengthening your heart
- Lowering your blood sugar (since you’ll reduce fat around your stomach)
- Boosting your energy
Spending quality time with loved ones
- Experiencing the healing power of nature and discovering new trails
There are so many more benefits of walking, but for now, go try it out and see for yourself!
Some Walking Safety Tips
- Try to walk in groups
- When walking at night, make sure you have a light with you and wear reflective clothing
- Try not to wear flashy or valuable items
- Make sure you have water with you
- Know your route and let people know where you are walking and when you will be back
2. Join an Online Pilates Class (with the Family)
If you’re home for the holidays (or somewhere else) it might be a bit tough to find a studio near you. So joining an online Pilates class is perfect to get your body moving at home and your family can easily join!
Why join an online class rather than downloading an app with a bunch of workouts? Well, because the holidays are often about bonding or connecting with each other and joining a live online class can add a personal touch to the whole experience! You’ll be able to connect with your instructor, say hello, smile at one another, and then get down to the business of good movement. Send us an email if you’re keen to join a class or get a link to a pre-recorded class.
3. Dance it Out
According to Ludmilla Chiriaeff, “Dance is movement, and movement is life.” So whilst we have a passion for Pilates and Yoga in their purest form, we are most interested in the bigger picture of good movement which often starts with just simply moving, with play, with discovery. So this holiday, grab your friends and family, put on a few upbeat songs and dance your hearts out—like no one is watching!
4. Clean the House
We know, we know, it’s your time to rest and enjoy quality time with your loved ones, but having a clean house is also good for the soul—and your body!
Set aside an hour or two and get started with cleaning. When you’re cleaning you get in basic moves such as walking, reaching high and bending low—making it the ultimate full-body workout!
5. Portable Exercise Gear
If you’re not keen on just using your body weight to work out, investing in portable exercise gear like dumbbells, a yoga mat, a jump rope, etc., is a great solution.
And if you don’t have the space to carry your gear with you, water bottles and cans with peas or beans will work as well!
6. Play a Game (Hide and Seek is Not Just for Kids!)
We know it’s tempting to just grab a deck of UNO cards or set up a game of Monopoly, but try to play a game where movement is involved. A few great games to consider is tag, hide and seek, Twister, etc. Even throwing a ball around outside, or playing tennis on the lawn or against a wall can help you get movement in for an hour or two.
7. Create a Fun Challenge
A little healthy competition amongst family never hurt anyone. Setup a fun challenge with the family such as, “the person with the most steps doesn’t have to do the dishes”, or whatever you have
8. Keep it Short
Rather than focusing on an hour-long workout, stick with 30 minute HIIT workouts.
High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, involves short periods of intense exercise followed by short, low-intensity recovery periods. These quick workouts will help you work up a sweat within 10 to 15 min. Here are seven benefits of HIIT to help motivate you.
9. Remember to Relax
Last but not least, remember to relax. We know it’s great to bring movement into your life but resting is just as important as working out because life is all about balance. Embrace the moments you have with friends and family and enjoy that as much as you can.
Rediscover Movement with moveOn 89
Would like to sign up for our movement classes? You can choose whether you want to join our online Pilates, HIIT or Yoga classes, or if you’d like to join our instructors in the studio here in Cape Town. Get in touch with our wellness gurus to get started.
Want to see how it goes before committing? Sign up for a FREE trial class.