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Planning for a Healthy and Active Holiday Season

December 12, 2011 by Marc Faktor, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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Planning for a Healthy and Active Holiday Season

The Holiday season is rapidly approaching, school is almost out, the malls are open late and family gatherings and outings are in the works! This is such an exciting time of year but it can also be stressful and have negative affects on ones health.

How could such a great time of year negatively affect health?

I am sure you're all familiar with the over consumption of food and alcohol that accompanies most Christmas dinners and parties. In addition, there are many many many more opportunities for us to be nibbling on high caloric foods in and around the office and in many public establishments throughout the day (e.g. jars of chocolates and sweets are popping up everywhere!).

Moreover, the holidays are not cheap and the stress of financial planning alone for this season can have a toll on someone's health.

The good news!:

Physical Activity is probably one of the best methods to decrease stress and assist in maintaining a healthy weight! In addition, if you read the dietitian's blogs, you will realize that the see food diet does not have to be implemented every time you see a bowl of chocolates and that preparing healthy and nutrient dense foods for friends family and loved ones to nibble on can promote health in many meaningful ways.

My Challenge to you:

I would like to challenge you to take the opportunity to integrate physical activity and healthy eating into your holiday gatherings. There are many ways to do this and by planning ahead you're setting the stage for success. You don't have to lift weights at the dinner table but, focusing on scheduling a family walk, toboggan race, ice skate, shinny hockey match, flag football or even a speed mall walk for the ladies (men you're allowed as well) during your downtime can do a great deal for your health, improve family ties, decrease stress levels and put you in a better place to consume the extra goodness of holiday cooking.

Keep Positive, Keep Smiling and KEEP MOVING! ~ Marc

Here are a few resources to assist you with your planning:

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Comments (4)


Posted on Monday December 12, 2011 a 8:41pm

I like going for walks to see all the Christmas lights! Almost everyone in the family can get on board for this type of exercise.


Posted on Monday December 12, 2011 a 9:51pm

My favourite holiday activity is going snowshoeing up the Winter Grouse Grind. It's nice to combine exercise with great views!

cpetelski's picture

HealthyFamilies BC

Posted on Thursday December 15, 2011 a 2:53pm

Dear Mylissa and Kjreed,

Thanks for reading and sharing such awesome information!

Mylissa, what an amazing way to enjoy the festive season while walking off your dinner and or heating that metabolism up for dinner time!

Kjreed, Grouse Mountain is a beautiful venue to take action in the outdoors! Huge high five via the internet!

We are truly blessed to have these accessible physical activity outlets on the west coast. For those just getting started, you don't need to snowshoe up a mountain to improve health! Feel free to find trails that suit your current health and fitness level! Check out or call the Physical Activity Line for assistance if needed: 1-877-725-1149.

Readers: Don't Forget! Challenge yourself this holiday season to integrate physical activity and healthy living into your life and those around you!

Make a Difference, Be the Difference!

- Marc


Posted on Thursday December 15, 2011 a 9:15pm

I love going out walking in the snow, although Vancouver doesn't have any right now, I will still go up to our walking track at a local nearby school and walk the track a few times.


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