The holiday season can be such a busy time of socializing and celebrating and of course, preparing to do these things! It can lead us to deprioritize being physically active in favour of sedentary screen time or a nap when we have a moment of peace. But it’s amazing how being active gives you more energy and helps to decrease your stress levels during a hectic time. Especially if you can get outside and stimulate your senses with fresh air and beautiful nature!
Here are some movement-motivating ideas:
- LET IT SNOW: Winter activities like cross-country or downhill skiing, snowshoeing, skating, sledding, igloo or fort-building, shoveling snow and even a good old snowball fight are all fantastic ways to get our heart rates and body temperature elevated!
- PARTY GAMES: Combine celebrating with food and drinks with fun games that can be set up around the party—think bean bag toss, punch pong, hula hoops, Twister®, limbo and freeze-dance. Consider making a board or poster for guests to write their names and tally which games they’ve played to win a prize!
- LIGHTS WALK: What better way to feel good after a great dinner then to go for a walk around the neighbourhood together and look at the festive lights. It’s always more fun when you can see your breath!
- ACTIVE VIDEOS: On drizzly days when it’s hard to get outdoors, try a family Just Dance® party, a YouTube yoga session or Wii Ski/Snowboard®.
- COOKING: Scratch cooking can be a fun family activity and wonderful way to engage children in food and traditions. Whether rolling out dough for holiday cookies or pies, chopping veggies or fruit for a platter, whisking or mashing and handwashing the many dishes, all require expending energy that benefits our bodies.
- CREATE TRADITIONS: Start or keep up traditions with family or friends that are centered around a physical activity, whether renting a rink, caroling or volunteering in your neighbourhood or going on a New Year’s hike.
Aim to be active as a family each day over the holiday season to help children 5-17 achieve the recommendation of 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity according to the Canadian 24 Hour Movement Guidelines. The benefits are the best gift you can give each other!