Happy Healthy-Days

Happy Healthy-Days

- Jenn Gill

The Holiday Season! Each year it seems to get here a little earlier than the last. You get through Halloween, you turn around, and there's Thanksgiving. And then the rest of the Holiday season whizzes by you so fast, your head is spinning on New Year's. And that's before you even pop open the champagne! 

Here are some tips to keep you running smoothly through the holiday season:

TIP #1 - MAKE AN APPOINTMENT: The first to do before the season gets away from you is to realize you just won't be able to get as many runs in, or run as long, as normal. Between the parties, the school plays, gift shopping, family gatherings and the weather - you just won't have time. Before things get out of control, add an item to your to-do list: RUN! Even if it is just 20 minutes, it is something. And there's nothing wrong with making a date with your running shoes. It is just as important as your grandma's holiday gift exchange.

TIP #2 - BE FLEXIBLE: While you need to make an appointment with your running shoes as often as you can, you have to be able to juggle things around a bit. Going for a run will just have to take a back seat to your child's holiday pageant. But that doesn't mean you should forgo running entirely. It just means you should try to do it another time. Perhaps in the morning before work, on your lunch break or once the kids are in bed. And if none of those options work, take 5-minute breaks throughout the day and do a few lunges here and a few squats there. And throw in some push-ups and crunches for good measure. You'll get a full body mini-workout that keeps your energy up for all those holiday obligations.

TIP #3 - BE CREATIVE: Need to run some errands? Do it! Run to the post office to mail your holiday cards. And who says you have to run to workout? Do some laps around the mall as you do your holiday shopping. Add some dance moves as you push the vacuum around the house. Do squats while folding the laundry. It may sound kooky, but you'll still burn more calories than sitting on your you-know-what.

TIP #4 - STAY HOME: If trying to fit in a trip to the gym is too much, stay home and workout to an exercise DVD. You can rent them from Netflix or borrow them from the library, so there's no need to buy new ones. Don't want to exercise to a DVD? Do the push-ups and crunches mentioned earlier. Throw in some squats and you have a full-body workout.

TIP #5 - STAY CALM: Physical activity is a well-known stress reducer. Want to stay sane this holiday season? Stay active! Want to stay healthy? Get moving! Research has shown for decades that physical activity is not only a proven stress-reducer, but it can also aid in the prevention and treatment of chronic illness such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even certain cancers. 

By paying attention to your schedule, planning ahead and being prepared for the inevitable shuffling around of schedules, you can definitely stay on track this holiday season. And you won't have to make that dreaded New Year's resolution to be more active. You are already there!

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