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Active Healthy Holidays

If better health is the gift you want to give yourself this holiday season, try these tips to add more movement to your day and healthy foods to your plate. Even a few minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity can deliver some health benefits and count toward reaching the recommendations. For adults, the many benefits of physical activity include reduced short-term feelings of anxiety and better sleep.

Here are some tips for staying active during the holidays:

  • When shopping, walk a few quick laps around the shopping center before going into any stores.
  • Take the stairs at every opportunity. Look for stairs in parking garages, offices, and shopping centers. If you can’t climb the stairs all the way to where you’re going, take the elevator part of the way then take the stairs the rest of the way.
  • Skip the search for a close parking spot during your errands. Park farther away and walk briskly to your destination.
  • When friends and family gather, go for a group walk. You can make the walk more fun by turning it into a scavenger hunt. Or play an active group game in your yard or local park.
  • Bundle up and take a walk instead of a drive to see holiday lights.

Here are some ideas for shifting the focus away from food during the holiday season.

  • Volunteer in your community; it might turn into an activity you enjoy year-round.
  • Try a seasonal activity such as ice skating or winter hiking.
  • Make a “walk and talk” date with a friend or family member. Skip the blended coffee drink and explore an area that is new.
  • Visit that museum or exhibit you’ve been wanting to see.

Consider what new healthy traditions you can start this year. The possibilities are endless!