Here I go again talking about exercise, one of my favorite subjects as your Grand Rapids chiropractor when it comes to an essential part of good health that no one can do for you but you. In my past blogs I’ve talked about simple ways that you can add exercise to your daily routine without altering your schedule too much, like using your lunch break to jog or take a brisk walk, taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, and when shopping at a mall or market, find a parking spot on the outskirts of the lot, instead of close to the building.
But, with holiday shopping and other “to-do” activities, even the simple exercise options above might fall by the way side. Your lunch break becomes an opportunity to get pressing holiday necessities accomplished and if you’re in a rush, you may find parking close to a mall or market entrance, and taking an elevator instead of the stairs far less time-consuming.
However, many holiday activities offer ways for you to get the 30 minutes of daily moderate physical activity that your body needs. And, in addition to the usual health benefits, making sure you continue to get exercise will also help your body burn extra holiday calories! And, of course, as I’ve mentioned before, you don’t need to get in your 30 minutes all at once, but instead, exercising in 10- to 15-minute “chunks” can also be beneficial.
So, here are a few tips to healthfully get you through the holiday season:
If you’re holiday shopping and in a hurry, continue to park farther away from the mall entrance, and get your heart pumping by picking up your walking pace. You’ll save time and get a workout. Once you’re inside, remind yourself that taking the stairs may seem to take longer, but waiting for the elevator is often more time consuming. And, when your purchases aren’t too heavy or bulky, try carrying them instead of using a shopping cart to help get your heart pumping and strengthen your muscles.
If you’re hosting guests for the holiday, getting ready for them and cleaning after they leave can be a good way to get in your aerobic exercise. Housework, such as vacuuming, mopping, scrubbing, and even decorating (and “undecorating”) uses large muscle groups like those in your legs and back. The most important thing is to get your heart rate up at a consistent level for at least 10 minutes without stopping.
Don’t let inertia set in during the holidays. It’s hard to start exercising again once you’ve gotten out of the habit. And, if it helps, keep an image of Santa Claus and his big round belly in mind. Remember, he only exercises one night a year!