12 Ways of Fitmas

It’s the holiday season and it’s time to get your holiday groove on. No more sitting around sipping eggnog and eating heavy meals – get moving. Exercise is a very natural and healthy way to help keep your stress levels at bay and help ward off unwanted holiday weight gain, but you have to move! Here’s our top 12 ways to have a Merry Fitmas.

1. Stand Up. Get out of bed a little early, get out of your recliner and step away from your desk! Even just small amounts of exercise can have a huge impact on your body. Sitting and lying down can zap your energy and leave you feeling more tired and stiff than if you moved around a bit. So stand up and move.

2. Stretches. Stretches feel amazing and often people remark how great they feel when they do them, yet we don’t. Why be stiff and sore when you can reach for the sky, hug your arms around your chest and roll your shoulders and feel so good. Stretching is free and easy. Try it!

3. Tap your toes. Panic at the Disco got it right when they entitled their latest hit, “Dancing’s Not a Crime.” Dancing for even one song can get your adrenaline flowing and burn off some extra calories. While you shouldn’t punish yourself for the food you eat, you can reward your body with a little dancing. Shake it like Santa and dance.

4. Walk. Yup, just plain old walking is great! Walk to the water cooler, walk to the mailbox, walk around the parameter of the store before shopping, walk a store without even shopping, but walk. Our bodies are designed to move and just about everyone can walk. Not to mention you burn about 100 calories a mile is more than just one candy cane.

5. Do a video. You no longer need DVDs and VHS tapes to work out, although you certainly can use them, but there are tons of free and fun workout videos online. YouTube® is just packed with about any type of fitness, from seated exercises to high intensity. Get searching and pick one. If you like it write it down or bookmark it so you know where to find it next time you need a good sweat.

6. Take a class. Fitness classes are designed to do all the thinking for you, all you have to do is show up. Show up at The Wellness Center and take anything from Spinning® to Yoga and we think you will be feeling fit as a Christmas fiddle.

7. Get outside. Walk, skate, ski, snowboard, snowshoe, slide, you name it. Just get out there for some fresh air. After just a little while you may notice that cool air feels great and you may be having more fun and moving more than you thought. If it ever snows you can even build a snowman or fort, there are no rules, just get out there and enjoy.

8. Climb. If you are able-bodied, take the stairs. You will always feel like you want to give yourself a pat on the back when you choose the stairs of the elevator or escalator. Maybe you have been shopping all day and your feet are tired or you’d just rather take the elevator at work – don’t. If you can walk up the steps you will be glad you did and it will also keep those legs strong as well. Don’t be scared to take the climb.

9. Clean. If you want to get your house ready for Santa, visitors, or just in general keeping it tidy, cleaning is a great way to get your fitmas on this year. Doing a little bit of housework each day is a sure way to make sure you are moving each day. Floors one day, dusting the next, changing the sheets and even lugging around laundry can be quite a workout.

10. Get wrapping. If you have lots of presents to wrap and all different sizes, get on it. Wrapping on a table or even right on the floor should offer plenty of movement when it comes to reaching for the tape, cutting big pieces of paper and moving gifts from here to there.

11. Put on your apron. Holiday baking can be no joke with all the mixing and mashing. From your visit to pick up ingredients to your final sheet of cookies going in the oven, make it part of your workout. Same goes for cooking your big feast.

12. Have fun. Get creative and move around! There are no rules when it comes to how to get moving – just do it. If there is something you like to do that gets you moving, go for it!

Many people would suggest that our bodies are one of our greatest “gifts.” Use your “gift” and get it moving. Just a few minutes of activity can really boost your energy, state of mind and work production. See if you can add in some movement each hour by stepping away from your desk to grab some water or standing up to stretch during your holiday movie marathons. Better yet, try all 12 steps before the big day! We challenge you to it! Join us in the celebration of the 12 Ways of Fitmas.

Mary Hoadley

Director of The Wellness Center