By Katy Siwirski

With Halloween ending and the holidays approaching, now is the time to focus on keeping up on your physical health. You‘re trying to avoid that big pile of candy, and you’re worrying about finances for the upcoming holiday season. The approaching time of festivities is typically a stressful time, so what can you do to stay physically fit and active during this chaotic time of the year? Follow these tips for a healthy holiday season.

Plan Ahead
Most people travel for the holiday season, and planning ahead can make a world of difference. Do some research on the area in which you are traveling to. Pack some warm clothes, and look for some walking trails nearby. Are you staying with family members? Ask them if they have any fitness equipment in their home. Ask near-by gyms if they allow guests to use their facilities. Talk to your family ahead of time and suggest doing something physically active together to make it more fun and interactive. The key point is, plan ahead! Things are bound to change while traveling, but you have already made your commitment to exercise, so stick to it no matter what.

Use Every Opportunity
Planning and preparing ahead of time is nice, but plans can get messed up during the holidays. If it seems impossible to get some kind of work-out in, think outside the box. Walk as much as possible. Take a few extra laps at the mall. Use stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Play a game of football or hide and seek with the kids. Watching a game of football? Get on the floor and start doing some sit-ups or push-ups. If you lack lifting equipment, pick up some full water bottles or soup cans for a quick lateral or overhead exercise.

Make It Official
Are you afraid of staying dedicated to a workout routine? Sign up for a race, competition, or awareness walk. Not only are they for a good cause, but they’re also good for your body! A simple walk or run goes a long way. Plan a hiking or biking trip, if the weather is accommodating in your area. Start a tradition with your family that you have to stick to. Invite family and friends to your gym for their latest exercise class, or to do a simple cardio workout. Most gyms offer deals and specials during the holidays, so this is the best time to get out and be healthy!

Treat Yourself
No, we do not mean treat yourself to that last piece of pumpkin pie! If within a reasonable budget, invest in some new workout clothes or fitness equipment before Thanksgiving to boost that motivation needed to stay active during the holiday season. Don’t forget to get your friends and family involved! Plan workout routines with your best friend, parent, sibling, or cousin. You’ll be more motivated to work out if you have some motivation by your side. Take a bike ride or walk together. Do some research on group activities that are both fun and stress-relieving.

Don’t let the stress of the holidays ruin your potential at staying fit and active. Use the tips and suggestions listed above to keep a positive outlook during a tense time of the year. Remember, the holidays are meant to be full of fun and cheer! So, put down that Halloween candy, and get out there and make yourself proud!

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