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Cheap and Easy Ways to Stay Fit This Holiday Season

Joy. Cheer. Cookies. The holiday season is famous for many things. But it’s also notorious in many ways — some of which have to do with those cookies we mentioned.

From work parties to family gatherings to gift exchanges with friends, it’s hard to stay healthy when you see indulgent foods and cocktails at every turn. On top of that, all of those events have your schedule packed — you barely have time to brush your hair, let alone exercise and get ahead of that cookie-heavy menu that awaits you for the next few weeks.

If you can believe it, there’s yet another problem: the holidays are expensive as you-know-what. So, on top of the unhealthy meals and the busy schedule, you also have to figure in your budget and the fact that you might not be able to afford expensive exercise classes along with all of the above. Woof.

Fortunately, there is some good news in all of this. You can hack your way to a healthy holiday 
season — and do it on the cheap. We’ve come up with the following XX ways to stay fit without sacrificing one bit of your festiveness.

Slip Into Your Skates

You’ll be making plans with just about everyone you love this holiday season, which is great. But you can make your plans strategic ones, in that they let you reunite with friends and family and get a bit of a workout in.

The obvious choice for a Christmas-y activity that also makes you sweat? Ice skating. Chances are, your hometown has a festive rink set up somewhere with a Christmas tree in the middle, music playing, the whole nine. You can get some cardio, improve your balance and sneak in a memorable reunion at the same time. Voila. 

Work Out in the Wings

Okay, so you’re not a theater actor, but you can slip easy workouts into your off time — the time when you’re in the wings if you will. That’s because there are so many body-weight moves that challenge you without any equipment necessary.

Before you head out for a festive brunch, shopping trip or happy hour, squeeze in a workout that suits the amount of time you have between activities. It costs nothing, works with your schedule and makes you feel good, which sounds like a win-win-win to us.

Use What You Have

We’ve already touched on body-weight workouts, and those quite literally use what you have to help you get fit. But for this segment, we want you to think about the fitness resources and memberships you already hold. Then, use those to your advantage.

For one thing, you might have some fitness DVDs and equipment laying around that you’ve ditched in favor of out-of-home workouts. Even though they’re not your ideal form of fitness, they’re something you have on-hand if you want to squeeze in a quick sweat sesh.

And, if you have a membership to a local sports club or fitness studio, use it when you can. A lunch date near to your favorite yoga spot, for example, can give you the opportunity to dine and de-stress. Or, you can stop by your local indoor pool after shopping and boost your strength and circulation with an underwater cardio workout.

Make Caroling a Tradition

Walking from door to door is, of course, a nice way to get a bit of exercise while partaking in one of the season’s oldest and sweetest traditions. But singing itself is a great exercise, too. Not only does it strengthen your lungs, but it also sends your mood skyrocketing and fizzles stress. So, strap on your bonnet and grab your songbook — singing door-to-door can help you stay fit as well as spread some holiday cheer.

Frolic in the Snow

Walking down the street is easy. Walking through the snow? That’s a different story. The icy precipitation and the heavy boots, snowsuit and jacket you’re wearing add resistance to make the activity that much more difficult.

You can make it even more of a workout by speeding up to a faster-paced stride, walking up hills to sled or hitting the ground and making a whole choir of snow angels. The latter works your arms and legs, making it a full-body workout that’s disguised as winter fun — there’s not much better than that.

Put Fitness on Your Wish List

If you have yet to write to Santa, make sure you do so with the following tip in mind: request fitness-centric gifts to fuel your wintertime workouts. A new pair of shoes, workout leggings or an armband for your phone will help you power through exercise this holiday season and beyond. Plus, you kind of have to go and try your new gear once you’ve been gifted it, so no one would bat an eyelash if you took your new sneakers to the gym a few times.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is not necessarily a workout idea, but it’s a fit-minded tip. Often, your body will confuse dehydration for hunger pangs, which makes you susceptible to over-eating at a time when everything around you is sweet and indulgent. Be sure to sip water all day to stave off these cravings and benefit from all of the other good things a glass of H2O can bring. 

This informative piece identifies the benefits of drinking water on an empty stomach. Check it out here!

Make the Plans

Finally — and it may seem overwhelming to think about in the midst of wintertime chaos — you can try and become the one who plans the seasonal activities in which you’ll partake. That way, you can ensure you’re doing active things, going to restaurants where you’ll have healthy menu options and, of course, giving yourself enough time between to-dos to squeeze in the workouts you crave.

With more decisions in your hands, you’ll be able to do what you want to do — which, we gather, is maintain your fitness throughout the most wonderful time of the year. So, get to planning and take advantage of every opportunity for you time. In the end, you’ll feel better, happier and more fit for it — and that’s the best gift you can give yourself this holiday season.


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