Staying fit over the holidays

By: Health Local Staff Dec 12, 2011
holiday fitness | exercise holidays

It can be difficult to get to the gym as often as you'd like this time of year, but many holiday activities can keep you moving.

The holidays are once again upon us, which means everything from family and friend get togethers to office parties and in general, socializing more than usual. At nearly every turn, somebody is offering chocolates and other yummy treats. You want so much to partake but you also know that for every piece of chocolate, glass of egg nog and that extra serving of mashed potatoes means an extra half hour on the treadmill burning it off. Not wanting to gain any additional weight but unable to get to the gym as often as you want, what are your choices?

With so much emphasis placed on caloric intake during the holidays, it’s easy to forget that with all the running around we do, that we actually can balance out our intake. And no, it doesn’t necessarily mean doing more crunches or taking an additional spin class. All those things you do normally during the holidays also add up to calories lost.

Burn Calories While You Shop, Clean and Dance
We don’t think about it but we actually burn calories by doing everything, including sleeping (although not a lot). All those trips to the mall to give family and friends presents for Christmas and Passover actually adds up. How much depends on your weight, the speed at which you walk and how long you are walking. But let’s say you weigh about 145 pounds, you are a fairly brisk walker and you spend almost three hours in the mall, two of which are spent walking, a half hour browsing, and a half hour waiting in lines to pay for things. In those two hours of walking you can expect to burn as many as 313 calories.

As you pull out your vacuum cleaner, mop, and dust rag, just think of that piece of chocolate cake you can eat because you are going to spend the entire day cleaning your house in preparation for your holiday party. Again, using the average of 145 pounds, if you spend approximately four hours intensively cleaning your house, congratulations! You’ve just burnt up to 765 calories. But wait, it gets better!

If during your party, the music is so jammin’ that you are just forced to jump out of your seat and dance for half the night, guess how many calories you can lose? For every half hour of aerobic dancing, your body will sweat out 195 calories. And if you are an avid dancer, are you really going to stop after only half an hour? Heck, get a train going and get everyone on the calorie losing bandwagon!

The next time someone tells you how many calories you will gain by eating what you like during the holidays, you just remind them how many you lost cleaning your house, shopping for presents and getting your boogie on. Happy Holidays!

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at