In addition to being a time of love and sharing with family and friends, we all know the holiday season includes plenty of indulgences. Whether sipping creamy eggnog, gorging on seasonal chocolates, or serving up double portions of juicy turkey and maple-glazed ham, the holiday season is a time of excess for many. But don’t feel too bad – with these (slightly tongue-in-cheek) activities, you can enjoy all your holiday treats and still stay in shape this holiday season:
Snow has more benefits for Ottawa residents than providing a “White Christmas” most years. The act of shovelling it is a great calorie burner! For the average adult, one hour of shovelling snow can burn between 250-500 calories. That will help work off a lot of Quality Street…so when you see the snow falling this holiday season, get excited for your chance to bundle up and head outside to shovel…then come back inside and warm up with hot chocolate and marshmallows.
If shovelling snow seems too boring for you, fortunately there are lots of other activities in the snow that up the fun factor while still providing good exercise. Fun activities like sledding and tobogganing can burn between 300-600 calories per hour for adults, and snow-shoeing has a similar health benefit. Even building snow forts and having snowball fights is a great way to stay active, savour the outdoors, and enjoy quality time with your kids during the Christmas break. Equally beneficial – building snowmen!
While it may not benefit your wallet, holiday shopping can actually benefit your health! While slow-paced shopping only burns about 100 calories per hour, with a few hours spend wandering around Bayshore or the Rideau Centre, it sure adds up! You can actually rack up a few kilometres walking around malls or up and down the street in a commercial area like the Glebe or Westboro. When you add the weight of carrying around all the gifts you’re buying for loved ones, it’s an even better health benefit.
There are so many heavy items to buy if you’re hosting a holiday dinner this season. A 15-pound turkey is no easy lift, and ingredients like potatoes, cabbage, and sweet potatoes can add up in weight. Not to mention a trip to the liquor or beer store, which also requires lots of heavy lifting. But savour the moments you have to haul these items into the cart, transfer to the car, and then move into your home. Grocery shopping can burn between 100-300 calories per hour, and these extra-heavy items add some extra oomph to your mini-activity session.
The holiday season is a time of indulgence, and breaking away from the routine of daily life. Hopefully these silly tips help you get a little pick-me-up from holiday activities, then return to your regularly scheduled workout routine once the holidays have passed.