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We get it—you’re busy. But with these tips, you can still find time to exercise.

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The holidays can be hectic, leaving even the most disciplined of fitness enthusiasts with little time to work out. But just because your calendar is full and your to-do list is long doesn’t mean you should put aside activities that are good for your body and your mood. After all, if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be much good to anyone else, no matter what season it is.

Staying as active as possible is certainly good for your health, but another benefit is that it also helps you avoid holiday weight gain. Many people put on a few pounds at this time of year because they’re socializing more and moving less. But the more you move, the more calories you’ll burn, which can help make up for the extra treats or drinks you may inevitably consume.

Here are some tips to fit in some fitness no matter how jam-packed your schedule may be:

      • Make gifting an active pursuit. Instead of relying solely on online shopping, do some in person shopping and you’ll burn more calories. Even if you can’t pass up the online deals, walk around craft shows, holiday fairs or the mall. Better yet, gift people an activity you can do together, such as a day of skiing or a dance class for two.
      • Clean like a beast. Have company coming over and need to tidy up your house? You can kill two birds with one stone by turning your cleaning chores into a workout. Pick up the pace and you’ll soon be breaking a sweat, while leaving every inch of your home sparkling.
      • Multi-task in the kitchen. Cooking up a feast? There are plenty of ways to get in some exercise in the process. Do squats while waiting for water to boil. Pick up some water jugs and complete a few bicep curls while food bakes in the oven. Slice, dice and mix by hand instead of using a food processor to give your arms a workout. And dance throughout it all to keep your body moving.
      • Change your traditions. Instead of sitting around the fireplace or the table when you get together with family or friends, plan a more active outing. Go ice-skating or bowling. Enjoy a game of flag football in the yard. Play an active game indoors, like Wii or ping pong. Or simply go for a walk around the neighborhood before or after dinner.
      • Schedule me time on your calendar. Sure, there are a lot of things that need to get done at this time of year, but it’s also important to take time for yourself. Schedule your workouts on your calendar just as you would any other event to make sure you find enough time to do things that are important—and good—for you.

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Date Last Reviewed: October 13, 2022

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Andrew Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS

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