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‘Tis the Season to Get Moving: How to Stay Active During the Holidays

Considering the cold weather, the tasty treats, and the hectic schedule that comes with shopping, cooking, and preparing the house for company—it’s no wonder that many associate this time of year with weight gain. According to a study from the National Institutes of Health, most Americans gain at least a pound during the holiday season. Though one pound doesn’t sound like a lot, over the years the weight can accumulate. The good news is, exercise and physical activity can help prevent weight gain—and it’s easier than you think to fit it into your holiday schedule! Stay active during the holidays with these tips.

Start a Healthy Tradition

Instead of piling on the couch and watching your favorite holiday films with the family, bundle up and make a new tradition this year. Start going on walks, runs, or hikes, and include the whole family so you’re not tempted to skip out when the relatives are visiting. You can do anything from walking around the neighborhood to admire the holiday lights to signing up for a holiday 5k run. If you’re traveling, research hiking trails in your destination.

DIY Exercise

Household activities like cleaning, raking leaves, and shoveling snow can work muscles and get your heart rate going. Take on these tasks yourself this year—it’s a win-win situation! When shoveling, the National Safety council recommends you lift with the legs bent instead of using your back. “Sit” into the position and keep the back straight so your shoulders, torso, and thighs do the work.

Turn Cooking Time Into a Mini-Workout

While the casserole is cooking or the cookies are baking, use that time to exercise. Websites like YouTube® have free exercise videos—many require no equipment and can be done in as little as 10 minutes. Set a goal to make time for a 10-minute session three times a day.

For more videos to help you exercise at home check out the top exercise videos from UHC TV.