The holidays can be stressful – the normal workload and the extra work (although fun) of preparing for the holidays. How can one deal with stress this time of year? The answer is physical activity! It doesn’t have to be an exercise program, but just increasing the amount that you move! Here are some ideas for staying active.
First of all, build shorter workouts into your day. A short workout of 10 minutes, 3 times per day can be just as beneficial as one longer workout! Use your daily activities to ramp up your energy output. Put a lot of physical energy into housework, shopping, etc. and you will help your physical fitness as well as getting things done!
Secondly, waste your body energy. Dr. Len Kravitz, PhD, University of New Mexico termed it “seamless” activity. In other words, seamless activity is activity that becomes a natural part of your day without thought or extra time. Here are some of his ideas:
- Sit/stand/sit every time you transition into a chair.
- Carry in bags from the car one at a time.
- Stand and walk around the office every 30 min.
- Walk to the farthest bathroom and water fountain.
- Walk around the room or up and down stairs while on the phone.
- Stand at a counter to work on a computer, organize papers, and read.
- Do band/floor exercises during commercials or walk up and down stairs.
If all your holiday preparation is done, then volunteer. Serve food at a soup kitchen, help out in a nursery, deliver food, help out at an animal shelter, or be a hospital volunteer. These activities will help you move more without even realizing it!
If you go to a gym or fitness center, write down your appointment on your calendar as if it were a doctor’s appointment. You can call it your “mental therapy” appointment instead of exercise. The point is to do it! Although many things will compete with your time during the holidays, you will be a lot healthier and happier if you are physically active!