Fitness tips for the whole family this holiday season

shutterstock_526177072The holidays are supposed to be a time of cheer, but often, we end up feeling grumpy and sluggish because we’ve overeaten or neglected our exercise routines.

To help fight the holiday slump, we’ve put together this list of ideas that will keep your whole family healthier this holiday season.

Making the Holidays Healthy

Holiday gatherings don’t have to be the death of your health and fitness goals. Here are five ways to make this season happier and healthier for your family.

1. Create a Holiday Calendar

Sometimes your lack of motivation is a direct result of unorganization and chaos. Between school parties for the kids, family get-togethers, shopping, etc., your days can quickly become a jumbled mess.

This year, designate a specific time for each activity or event on your list. Encourage your relatives to pin down an exact day and time for gatherings, plan a few hours for shopping, and write down the times of activities you can’t control.

When your calendar’s complete, pencil in spots for fitness around what you’ve already got going on. This works much better than trying to squeeze in a workout at a random spare minute.

2. Include Activities

After the meal has been served and the gifts opened, don’t sit around chewing the fat (pun intended). Take boredom out of the equation and get moving.

Play charades, opt for board games, or get really crazy and toss a football around outside. Not only will this keep guests entertained, but it also prevents your family from being too sedentary.

3. Start a Fitness Tradition

Working out is always more fun with friends. Why not use the holidays as an excuse to exercise together? Ask relatives and friends to meet up the morning of your big holiday party and fit in a sweat session before the festivities begin.

To get people interested, make this a fun event. Pull out those old Jane Fonda DVDs, design your own competitive race, or form a dance party. No matter what you choose, the important thing is to get active together.

4. Set up an Exercise Competition

Some families are more competitive than others, but everyone loves a good prize. Have family members pitch in for a grand prize, whether it’s money or an item, and then decide together what the terms of the competition will be.

For example, whoever logs the most miles running or the most hours at the gym during a set time period wins. This is a fun way to get everyone invested in exercise.

5. Bring a Dish

The great thing about holiday parties is that you’re usually asked to bring a dish (unless you’re hosting; in that case, you control most of the food). Choose something healthy so that you know your family has at least one decent option to eat during the get-together.

Above all, don’t despair. With these tips and a little determination, your whole family can stay on track and have a healthy and happy holiday season.

Stay tuned to Fitness 4 Less for more fitness tips to try at the gym.