Who’s starting to get a little freaked out about everything that has to be done before Thanksgiving, let alone all that comes along with the December holidays? Both hands up high over here! (Actually, that’s kind of a nice stretch, especially with a little reach side to side.) Ahem. Anyway, it’s very easy to decide we don’t have time to exercise until January 1st.
There are plenty of great articles out there that can explain all the reasons why you should, in fact, keep exercise on the priority list during the holidays. Please refer to them about exercise. I want to talk about something a little different, though. I don’t want to add another item to anyone’s “to do” list. Instead, I want to talk about things to do that can be part of the celebrations by changing how we approach things. Some of them take more time, and may not be appealing to you. That’s fine, if you find one little thing in there that works for you, use that and ignore the rest!
- One of my favorite ideas, especially at Thanksgiving is to get out and move before you sit down to eat. For those of us in this area, the Incline won’t quite be open yet by Thanksgiving, but I did that one Thanksgiving with a friend before we went to a dinner with a big group of us and that was a blast. There are often the various Turkey Trots that can be a lot of fun, but if they are on the weekend before, find something to do that day as well. You can use it as another way to do things with family and friends (or as a way to escape, as suits your needs!) For some of us, a bike ride might be an option, but almost any of us could go for walk or a hike. I know someone who would set up an obstacle course for the family and make it a competition.
- Those of us that are traveling need to stop and get out of the car a lot. This year, I am traveling, and my little hip problem does NOT appreciate that much time in the car. But even if you’re not dealing with any nagging problems, it is not good for us to spend hours in a car not moving. It’s also a great time to let kids and pets work off a little energy. Just make sure you move with them instead of watching them. And if you see a weirdo hanging on a tree at a rest stop, come say hi! I love hanging to stretch and open up my shoulders after they’ve been stuck on the steering wheel for a while.
- I also like to go for a walk after dinner. Most of us are going to be chatting with whoever we’re around anyway, so much better if some of that can be walking instead of sitting on the couch.
- Sit on the floor. I know, I always come back to that, but it’s a great way to engage any small kids in your life, it’s great for hip mobility, and it makes you get up and down from the floor. Plus, there’s limited seating compared to the people who will be hanging out where I am, so I can happily give the chairs to those less mobile.
- For most of us, there will be some time sitting around. There are football games to watch, and sometimes it’s just nice to sit and talk. However, if it’s not too disruptive to the conversation or the people around you, there’s always the option to get a little stretching in while you chat. Sitting on the floor definitely makes that easier.
- Admittedly, Black Friday is not my thing, but if you like the competitive shopping scene, use it as an opportunity to maximize some movement. Find the Siberia section of the parking lot, because that’s where the only parking is anyway, so instead of driving in circles looking for the perfect spot and getting angry with all the people in your way, you could be walking. (Or is that just me? There’s a reason I stay away!)
Please feel free to let me know what your favorite tricks are to move more during the holidays!
*That snow on the Crags is from a couple of years ago, but can you tell who’s starting to dream of snowshoeing?