Now that the holiday cookies and other good cheer has found you feeling a little less cheery as you step on your scale, maybe it’s time to think about a fresh start to the new year with your approach to living a healthier lifestyle. Even though this time of year leaves less time for exercising, in order to avoid welcoming 2015 with a Santa-like physique, make a commitment today start anew with these tips.
9 Ways to Stay in Shape
Following are 9 ways that you can squeeze in physical activity during the always hectic holidays.
1. Wear a pedometer – If you don’t own a pedometer, give yourself an early gift and buy one. As a general guideline, your goal should be to walk roughly 10,000 steps per day.
2. Check your hotel’s amenities – If you’ll be traveling on business or taking a winter refresher trip, before booking your room, check to make sure that the hotel has either a fitness center or in-room exercise equipment.
3. Leverage your natural equipment – Let’s say that you’re staying somewhere that’s an exercise-equipment-free zone, or you don’t have a laptop or a smart phone. Don’t, however, conclude that you’re off the exercise hook. That’s because your body – all by itself – is essentially a well-equipped gym. Try this workout: do jumping jacks for one minute, followed by 60-seconds worth of squat jumps, and then as many pushups as possible in one minute. Rest for 90 seconds, and then repeat this regimen three or four more times.
4. Park far away – When you’re running errands, heading to the mall, or stopping off at the market, make a conscious effort to choose a far-out parking space.
5. Move it at the mall – Speaking of the mall, use this shopping space to burn some calories. Specifically, prior to commencing shopping, first walk briskly from one end of the mall to the other. And, depending on the mall’s size, do more than one lap.
6. Step it up at work – If your job doesn’t involve much physical movement, now is the time of year to get up and get moving. For example, instead of the standard sit-down meeting, suggest a walking meeting – either indoors or outdoors. Another possibility is to round up fitness-minded coworkers and together commit to taking walks during lunch or devising another type of lunchtime workout routine.
7. Opt for the stairs – Whether you’re at work or out at the local mall, always opt for the stairs, rather than taking an elevator or escalator. And, if your house has stairs, hoofing up and down those a few times is a workout in itself.
8. Tap the tail-wagger – Take your furry friend on an extra-long walk. Not only will you get his or her tail wagging, but you’ll be burning calories while bonding with your appreciative pet.
9. Reach for small doses – While your winter-weary inclination is to conclude that there’s simply not enough time to exercise, consider the fact that if you do make the time, it could be among the best gifts you can give yourself. That’s because studies have shown even small doses of exercise – such as from 10 to 20 minutes – can result in mood improvement, anxiety reduction, and a general sense of calm.