While Santa’ sleigh may be right on track this holiday season, you may find your fitness routine a bit, well, Rudolph-less.
Need some guidance to keep your metabolism merry during the season’s fog of food, fun and festivities?
Make this list—and check it twice, so you can be sure which habits are naughty or nice:
1. Go last
That’s right, head to the back of the sleigh, or at least the back of the line when you’re foraging for food and drink at your next holiday party.
Standing longer will burn a few more calories. And with any luck, there won’t be as much food lingering to tempt your taste buds. Plus, you’ll have enough time to think long and hard if that extra piece of pecan pie is worth the trade off.
2. Kitchen kinetics
You’re probably spending more time in the kitchen this time of year, so make the moments count.
Every time you take something in or out of the dishwasher, do a squat. Putting a plate away? Try lunging to the cupboard. Instead of standing and watching the timer on the microwave tick down, march in place. If you’re feeling really ambitious, try some high knees or jumping jacks. Drop something on the floor? Try a push-up before the pick-up.
3. Muscle manipulation
When you do get time to work out, change up your routine.
Engage more muscle by doing complex exercises. It’s not about working out harder, but working out smarter.
Instead of doing just a bicep curl, turn it into more muscle methodology by adding a shoulder press. The more muscles you use, the more calories you burn.
4. The more the merrier
Include friends and family into your fitness routine.
Take a walk outside with your sibling, take the kids sledding or try a fitness class. Exercise is always more fun when you have someone to share it with.
5. Skip online shopping and shipped returns
While online shopping is convenient, it doesn’t take a lot of energy to sit at a computer.
Compare this to a power shopping trip to the mall–carrying bags, walking from store to store and looking for the best sale.
A trip to the mall will burn far more calories than surfing the web. Even traversing the parking lot for before-and-after-Christmas sales can be a workout.
6. Stand up
Sitting for too long slows the fat-burning process.
Find things you can do standing instead of sitting, such as talking on the phone, folding laundry or wrapping presents. You can burn an extra 60 calories per hour with this simple change. No special equipment required.
7. Use it or lose it
Even short bouts of exercise like taking the stairs or venturing out on a five-minute walk can boost your metabolism’s memory and help your body burn fat.
8. Proximity for pound loss
Put some weights or resistance bands next to your favorite chair.
When you’re watching TV, pull them out and do a few reps. Not only will you tone up, but you’ll also rev up your metabolism.
9. Get the gift of fitness
Fitness apps and fitness equipment make great gifts and stocking stuffers.
Consider asking for something fitness-related for yourself and your family. Not sure what to get? Ask your friends on your favorite social media site what they use and recommend.