Sticking to a fitness routine and staying in shape is important to your health, but if you’re a student heading home for the holidays, it can be tough to do so. It’s hard to find outdoor activities in the winter and you may not have access to the same fitness resources at home. Here are six activities students can use to stay in shape over the holidays.
1. Get a Physical Job
It can be a good idea to get a part-time or temporary job while you’re home from school so you can put more money toward savings or paying off your student loans. However, doing this can also help you get exercise over your holiday break if you can find a job that includes physical activity, such as grocery store stockers, gift-wrappers, or sales positions at retail locations. Many of these jobs tend to hire extra staff exclusively for the holiday season.
2. Do Chores Around the House
If you’re going home for the holidays, offer to help your family out by doing household chores and running errands. Most chores, such as cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, and sweeping, require moderate physical activity. If your family is hosting a holiday get-together, there may be even more work to do, such as getting guest rooms ready, cooking and meal prep, cleaning the garage, decorating the house, and picking up extra groceries. You can help your family out and get some exercise at the same time.
3. Take the Dog for a Walk
Not every family has a dog, but if you do, taking the dog for a walk can be a great way to meet your daily step quota. Dogs usually need to go on walks at least twice a day, which will help you get regular exercise. You can get plenty of variety out of walks too. Take a leisurely stroll around your neighborhood. Take your dog to the park. Go on a run or a hike if the temperature is comfortable for you and your dog.
4. Go Window Shopping
Shopping is a surprisingly useful way you can get your steps in over the holidays, particularly window shopping. Instead of buying all your gifts online, make a point of going to a mall or shopping center to walk around and look for gifts in-person. As you shop, anything you buy will also add more weight you’ll need to carry. You can enhance the walk by parking at the far end of the lot, blocking out a large amount of time in your schedule to browse, or taking the long way from one store to another.
5. Take the Stairs
An easy way to get some extra exercise at any stage in life is to choose to take the stairs whenever possible. For example, people who work in offices can choose the stairs over the elevator for the extra cardio. For students, access to stairs may be more limited, depending on whether their homes have stairs or not. Public buildings such as malls and department stores have stairs, so try to take them instead of escalators or elevators whenever possible. If you’re staying in a hotel during the holidays, take the stairs rather than the elevator there too.
6. Look for Physical Winter Activities
There are many indoor and outdoor winter activities you can do over the holidays. Skiing, ice skating, bowling, sledding, and touch football, among others, are all fun, physical activities you can participate in over the holidays. Some you can do solo while others require teams. All of them can be done in a group with your family or with friends from your hometown or high school that you haven’t seen in a while, making these ideal social activities as well as exercise opportunities.
Remember, you don’t need to do all your physical activity at once. If you do a few of these activities each day, they’ll add up and you can get enough exercise over the course of the day to stay healthy. Staying in shape over the holidays is not difficult, sometimes it just takes a little creativity.