Many people put their exercise routines on hold from the end of November to the beginning of January as they indulge in festive celebrations. However, with the inevitable extra food and added holiday stress, exercise is the best way to keep up your energy and blast away some of those extra calories. Here’s part one of the fitness routine that keeps me staying fit and energized over the holiday season. 

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Cardio: Two Ten-Minute Intervals Daily

Squeezing in gym time with ample activities already on my plate can be difficult this time of year. Once my workday is complete, I begin to get ready for evening events, which means there is even less time available for the gym. To offset this, I commit to going to a boxing class every Saturday morning and I pack in as much exercise as I can during the week by waking up 10 minutes earlier and taking a 10-minute break from my laptop during the workday.

In the morning, I fit in a 12-minute boot camp express workout in my living room followed by 10 minutes of power walking (inside or outside) throughout the day. If I’m walking outside I make sure I wear a good pair of walking boots or trail shoes to deal with the winter weather. Twenty minutes of daily cardio exercise can lower blood pressure and it energizes my mind and body.

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Everyday Activities:  Be Mindful and Purposeful

Fortunately, many of the tasks on my holiday to-do list help keep my muscles toned and burn some extra calories; it’s just a matter of being mindful of them. For example, I find myself in the grocery store more often this time of year, so I’m purposeful to park far away from the store entrance and walk at a brisk pace up and down the aisles. When I get home I stand to prep any produce, meat and/or fish I’ve purchased.

When old man winter piles on the snow, I often choose to shovel rather than use the snow blower. It takes about 40 minutes to clear off my driveway (it’s long – the reason for the blower!) so it’s a winter workout while doing an everyday activity. And whenever possible, I walk instead of driving to meet friends for some holiday cheer. All of these choices translate into extra exercise and every little bit counts this time of year. 

And remember, you can never “out exercise” an unhealthy diet. Fitness and health are crucial to a more energetic and less stressful holiday season. Stay tuned for part two with more of my favourite holiday fitness hacks before we say good-bye to 2017!

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