The 12 Days of Christmas Health, Day 2 (and a new recipe)

(Part 2 of a 12-part series)

Tip #2 - Stay active.

Exercise is just as important during the holidays as any other time of the year. But with our hectic schedules, it can be tough to find time to go to the gym.  Staying active will give you energy, reduce stress and tension and, of course, help burn some of the extra calories you may be eating.

Here is a list of suggestions on ways to stay active at this very busy time of the year:

Skating on the Rideau Canal.jpg
  • Winter sports like ice skating or even sledding are great forms of exercise and can be fun family activities.

  • Take an extra lap around the mall, or park further from the entrance to the mall (since you will probably have to anyway, embrace it and make it count)

  • Plan your workouts for the week and add them to your calendar to make sure that they are a part of your day.

  • Exercise in the morning – this will help you to make it part of your day before you get distracted with your long to-do list

  • Remember that some exercise is better than none. Rather than skipping the gym altogether, make time for a quick workout. And keep in mind that housework, walking the dog and shoveling (light!) snow all count.

  • Keep moving. Research shows that sitting for long periods of time (like we do when we watch a football game or have our holiday dinner) is hazardous to your health. Getting up for just five minutes every 30 to 60 minutes and performing light activity (for example, walking around the house or performing simple squat exercises) reduces the risk of diabetes and other heart disease risk factors.

If you're traveling, planning ahead can make all the difference.  Here are a few ideas:

Christmas exercise.jpg
  • Look for walking, running or park trails nearby

  • Find out whether the hotel you're staying at has an exercise room

  • If you're staying with family, ask if they have any fitness equipment

  • Find a nearby gym that allows guests to use their facility

  • Make exercise a family activity and take a walk together

  • Try to plan your workout schedule beforehand. Even if you have to change it (which is likely when you're traveling), you've already made a commitment to exercise. It's easier to stick with it when you have it planned than to squeeze it in later.

Do your best to keep active, and it will help you to fight “holiday stress”, sleep better and keep a routine, making it easier to get back on track in the new year.

And to fuel your workouts, try this great recipe: Raw Pumpkin Seed-Walnut Protein Orbs