7 Ways to be Active During the Holidays

The Pacific Northwest offers a lot of ways to be active outdoors during the spring, summer and fall. But when the weather turns cold and rainy, it’s hard to muster up the enthusiasm to head out.

Our gloomy winters can seem like the perfect excuse to park yourself on the couch until spring. Add to that the stress and busyness of the holiday season, and staying active during this time of year may seem almost impossible.

But regular exercise and activity are important for your health all year. Instead of settling in to hibernate for the winter, try these seven ideas that will keep you and your family active and moving all season long.

  1. Find a Turkey Trot or Jingle Jog Holiday-themed running/walking events are easy to find in most areas, and are typically family-friendly. These events are more about silly costumes, people-watching and pure fun than about competition, so they are great for all fitness levels.
  2. Strap on some ice skates Ice skating is an iconic holiday activity. Pierce County’s Sprinker Arena is open year-round and offers public skate times. For something more festive, try the new, holiday-themed Indigo Frozen Fountain ice skating rink at Point Ruston or Olympia’s new downtown ice rink. Both are open until early January.
  3. Hit a roller rink If skating on ice doesn’t appeal to you, a number of roller skating rinks in the region offer public skate hours. Either kind of skating is an excellent cardiovascular workout appropriate for almost all age levels. Skating can even help you improve your balance skills, which are important to maintain as you get older.
  4. Walk the mall Sure, it’s going to be packed with holiday shoppers. But if you’re going to be there anyway, set aside time to get in some steps. Walking breaks between stores can help relieve some of the stress of crowds and long lines.
  5. Try ‘feet first’ sightseeing If you’re traveling to visit family or taking a holiday vacation, try exploring new destinations or revisiting your hometown on foot or bike instead of by car or public transportation.
  6. Take a bowling break Stepping away from holiday preparations for a break can help relieve stress and prevent holiday burnout. An outing to your local bowling alley is a family activity that keeps you moving. Plan your trip for after lunch or dinner to avoid being tempted by the snack bar.
  7. Tackle a new challenge It’s easy to put your fitness or health goals aside when the weather’s bad and your holiday to-do list seems a mile long. In times like these, though, self-care is more important than ever. Make a point to try something new that challenges you physically, mentally or both. Sign up for a new fitness class, set a daily step goal—any challenge that gets you moving and can give you a measurable success to celebrate.