Top 5 Ways to Sneak in Exercise During the Holidays

I know, I know. Today’s not my normal Top 5 day, but I couldn’t resist. The sugar cookies are calling, y’know? 🙂

So we all know the obvious exercise options to counterbalance holiday treats…join a gym, etc….but I thought I’d share some nonconventional ways to sneak in exercise this month (along with a serious recommendation for each)…

5. Cardio kickboxing at the toy store: Another mom is racing toward the last Pillow Pet? Uppercut and jab. Another dad is buying the last Thomas the Train set? Hook and roundhouse kick.

Seriously, though: Don’t be afraid to get out and go to a fitness class. It’ll relieve the stress of the holidays and you might just meet other people who want to get ahead at the toy store, too (Never hurts to know your competition :)).

4. Bicep curls: Stand with feet hip-width apart, elbows pressed into sides, hands gripping Chex Mix. Slowly lift to the mouth and lower back down to the party mix bowl. Repeat for 10 reps.

Seriously, though: It’s okay to eat your favorite holiday foods, but everything in moderation. Taking a break to enjoy each bite can force you to slow down and realize when your stomach has had enough.

3. Power Walk: When the only parking spot is at the back of the lot, tug that sherpa tight and pump those arms. Who cares if you look like a stuffed marshmallow on Red Bull?

Seriously, though: Even if the only spot is close to the store, why not park farther away? If it’s frigid outside, that’s just extra motivation to move quicker and burn a few more calories.

2. One-arm lat row: Stand with feet hip-width apart, slight bend at the waist, back straight. Reach one arm forward to grab refrigerator handle. Pull it open, squeezing shoulder blade into spine. Grab carton of eggnog, close door, and repeat.

Seriously, though: Make yourself work to earn those extra calories. Even if it’s just running up and down the stairs a couple times or doing ten sit-ups, it’s better than nothing. And those extra calories will taste so much better when you’ve already burnt a few of them off your hips.

1. Post-workout stretch: Lie face down on the floor, duck head under the Christmas tree, and pray your hand reaches the electrical outlet to plug in the lights.

Seriously, though: Who says you can’t incorporate exercise into your holiday decorating? Go up and down the ladder after hanging each ornament rather than stockpiling them up top. Incorporate a squat when you dig through the decorations box to find what you’re looking for. Don’t be embarrassed. Really. No one is watching…except maybe Santa ;).

How do you incorporate exercise into your holiday madness? What’s the biggest food temptation for you this season? Any other tips to add to my list?

*Kickboxing photo by Ambro /
**Santa photo by Salvatore Vuono /


Filed under Fitness

28 Responses to Top 5 Ways to Sneak in Exercise During the Holidays

  1. LOL, love it Sarah!

    I run outside–totally helps me relax during the craziness. Biggest food temptation for me is chocolate-covered turtles (yum!). Thanks for the post!

  2. Thanks for the chuckle this morning!

    I schedule in my three workouts each week. Between that and running (literally) errands, it keeps the pounds at bay.

  3. Walk, walk, walk. I love to walk, and it seems one of the easiest exercises to work into our days. Even at the mall, walk up that escalator rather than being idle for the ride, grab that far parking space, do a mall-lap window shopping … Happy exercising to you 🙂

  4. Great tips, Sarah! I always try to make time for exercise. I feel so much better when I do. Have a great weekend!

  5. These are hilarious! 😛

    I haven’t been so great lately about working out, since this is the time of year when my schedule fills up. *sigh* And my biggest food temptation is just eating out a lot, since I’m so much busier and don’t cook as much at home.

    But January, I’ll for sure be back at the working out. I know, not good (it would be better to start NOW), but it’s something!

    • I totally understand, Lindsay! My normal workout routine is all crazy this month. I’m just trying to do what I can until I have more time to focus on it again. 🙂

  6. Today I plan to power walk my way through ToysRUs, Best Buy, HEB, and a few other stops! I hope I can burn enough calories to counteract the cheesecake in my fridge.

    A girl can hope- right?!

  7. I do leg lifts while I brush my teeth. Does that count? 😉
    ~ Wendy

  8. I try to include extra steps throughout my day to get my blood pumping!

    Temptation around this time? You really have to ask? Mashed potatoes and gravy! Lots. …And, perhaps, a Christmas cookie or two.

  9. What a fun post, Sarah, with a great message. I plan to continue my daily exercise regimen right through the holidays. That way I’ll be able to indulge in those yummy appetizers I love without experiencing as much guilt as I used to. =)

  10. I giggled at the decorating exercise because after I hauled tubs out of the attic and ran trees and decor up and down the stairs all day, I said, “Surely that should count for at least HALF a workout!!!” I keep up my workout during the holidays but I will admit to sorely missing my ability to go to the gym! Home isn’t as much fun! (Not as productive either!)

  11. Loree Huebner

    Great tips. I do a lot of power walking.

  12. LOL! Love this! 🙂

    My biggest temptation is the dark chocolate cinnamon dusted almonds from Dove. I just received the box I ordered (like, 2 days ago) and they are already half gone. *sigh*

  13. I really need to get myself into thinking about Exercise during the non-hoildays,lol. Richard from Amish Stories

  14. bethkvogt

    I don’t change my routine a whole lot during the holidaze. I just try to maintain it as much as possible and give myself a little extra grace.

  15. i clear out my daughter from the living room so that i’m not worried about my foot knocking her into next week while i’m doing my kicking and punching, etc. i love to do aerobics at home too. i’ve got tons of videos…Cathe is my favorite. in fact, i’m about to go at it right now!

    funny post!

  16. I like your takes on exercise. Due to fibro and its accompanying pain, I forgo exercise. I do step exercise when I go to the basement in the process of doing laundry.

    My one weakness is white chocolate. I was introduced to Lindor’s White Chocolate truffles. A sack of them has a short shelf life around me.:)