Health and Fitness

Sport at Christmas without a gym

Gyms are pretty deserted around Christmas time. Everyone is so busy with preparations, parties and visitors that it’s difficult to get there, change clothes and stick to a routine as regularly as the rest of the year.

But don’t give up training completely – you’ll have a much harder time getting back into shape if you do. Make working out part of the fun and stay fit until it’s time to hit the gym again in January. Perhaps you will enjoy the alternatives so much that you will never return!

1. Do less

Just do ten minutes if that’s all you can do. Ten minutes of anything – walking around the house or climbing stairs or hopping or rebounding – anything that suits your fitness level and the equipment you have at home. You can do it in the morning before you shower and it will give you energy to do whatever you need to do. If you can still fit in 10 minutes later, all the better. You’ll maintain your fitness level and burn off a few calories that you probably need at this time of year.

2. Take a class at home

Fitness videos are great when you’re short on time. No need to go to the gym – you have everything you need right at home. You can pick them up at charity shops for next to nothing, or treat yourself to one or two for Christmas. And it doesn’t matter if you don’t know the moves or have the latest gym gear – nobody is watching!

3. Clean up

No doubt you need to prep your home for visiting friends and family anyway, so make tidying up a workout. Put a lot of energy into it! Clean up all that clutter and clean, vacuum and polish until it shines. You’ll be ready for guests, maintaining your fitness level while burning off some calories.

4. Active fun

If you have a lot of guests and aren’t getting your usual urge to move, organize some active fun for everyone! They could all go bowling or skating. Or try a game of charades or twisters. If it snows, you can go sledding or have a snowman building competition. At least take them out for a walk every day, whatever the weather. There’s sure to be some lights to see or a local Christmas service to attend.

5. Dance the night away

Don’t be a wallflower. Take every opportunity to dance at parties (it also keeps you away from the buffet) or simply invite your partner to dance over the holidays. You will have fun, get closer and it will be great exercise. Dancing uses between 270 and 540 calories per hour, depending on the pace.

6. Offer a helping hand

Take action by volunteering your services in your community. You can help serve lunch at a homeless shelter or nursing home. Or just help your neighbors with errands and snow removal. You’ll get a warm glow from both the hands-on and the practice, and you’ll feel a lot better than if you sat around all afternoon watching reruns of “White Christmas.”

7. Escape

And if all else fails, book a ski vacation for your Christmas break next year instead of staying at home. You’ve got a whole year to save up (and to avoid the hassle of telling your family you’re going away next year!). purchase over Christmas.

Copyright 2005, Janice Elizabeth Small

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