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Fitting in Family Fitness During the Holidays

Fitting in Family Fitness During the Holidays

Staying active during the holiday season this year will require planning, determination, and even creativity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Between work, shopping, personal commitments, and observing social distancing precautions for travel and family gatherings, following a regular fitness routine can be challenging. Despite the hustle and bustle, it is important to keep physical activity at the top of your family’s to-do list.

The current physical activity guidelines for Americans state that adults should get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week, and children should get 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. Here are some innovative ways to support your family’s efforts to stay active during the holidays.

Get Outdoors

  • Walking expeditions. Bundle up, explore your neighborhood, check out your local trails and jogging paths, or head over to your local park.
  • Go on an outing. Drive to the neighborhood known for having the best Christmas lights, and spend an evening walking around while enjoying the scenery.
  • Play active games. Tag, soccer, kickball, or touch football are always favorites.
  • Cycling. Go on a family bike ride. It is a great way to get cardio exercise and enjoy the outdoors together.
  • Hit the slopes. Go sledding, skiing, or snowboarding, as permitted.
  • Create fun traditions. Have a snowball fight, go ice-skating, or make snow angels.

Always take necessary safety measures to protect yourself and others when you’re getting exercise. Remember to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet or more from people you don’t live with and be sure to wear a mask anywhere you will be around other people.

Stay Indoors

  • Create fun games. Turn off the screens and create a holiday-themed scavenger hunt around your home. Play games or create an indoor obstacle course.
  • Break up sitting time. Have a stretch break or family dance party. Schedule a video call and involve your extended family.
  • Turn on an exercise video. Take part in a virtual group exercise class. Check your cable provider, streaming service, or YouTube for some ideas.
  • Clean and decorate your home. Chores are not only a great way to have a clean house, but it is also a great way for the family to burn some extra calories as you walk, bend, lift, squat, and stretch.
  • Get off the sofa. Instead of curling up on the couch while you watch your favorite holiday movies, walk in place, hop on the treadmill, or do some easy exercises and stretches during the commercials. If you’re watching a big game, walk around the block or up and down your steps at halftime.

Start new holiday traditions this year that emphasize being active and safe with the whole family. Family fitness is truly the gift that keeps on giving. For more ideas, tips, and tools to make it easier to get a little more active, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Move your Way website.

Always consult with your physician before starting any diet or exercise plan. For more information on employee resources, please contact worklife@hq.dhs.gov.

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