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Healthy for the Holidays

By: Dr. Elizabeth Braley, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS

Healthy Holidays! There are three ways to keep exercising over the holidays.

The holidays are a wonderful, yet often stressful time of year. It’s easy to get busy with preparations and celebrations then neglect your exercise routine. Instead of waiting until New Years Eve to make a resolution to exercise more, give yourself the gift of health, strength, and endurance.

Use your body weight!

Body weight exercises are perfect for people just starting to get in shape and can be scaled to be more challenging for those who don’t have time to go to the gym. Work your lower body with bridges, single leg bridges, squats, and lunges. To increase the challenge try holding the squat or lunge position for 5-45 seconds. You can incorporate a cardio workout into your leg workout if you go up and down a flight of stairs 5-10 times. For a high-level challenge perform plyometrics including, jumping jacks, squat jumps, lunge jumps, or hopping on one foot. Work your core with bird-dogs, front and side planks. Work your upper body with wall, table, or floor push-ups.

Get outside!

Going for a walk with family, friends or the kids can be a great way to improve heart and lung health. If those inside the house have you stressed, you can even take a walk by yourself. I think we often forget how great it can feel to walk, hike or run. Be sure to dress for the weather and wear bright colored gear. You don’t need to hit the gym to get your cardio in. Walking outside away from the distraction of holiday specials and football can also be a great time to catch up with loved ones and for quality conversations.

Dance Party!

Perhaps my most fun recommendation is to turn on the music and have a dance party. Doesn’t matter if it’s the YMCA, Electric Slide, Cotton Eyed Joe, Macarena, Cha Cha Slide, Cupid Shuffle, or the latest Tic Tock dance. Even slow dancing with your love will burn more calories than sitting on the couch. And it’s better for your waist than eating more appetizers and dessert. It’s a lot easier to NOT eat too much than it is to burn off the extra calories.

If an injury gets in the way, and threatens your holiday cheer, come visit us!

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