There’s no denying December is a busy month. If you’re a parent, having a to-do list the same length of your kid’s wish list is almost guaranteed. Between dinners, shopping, preparing food, and wrapping presents, finding time to be active can be challenging. For me, when things get hectic going back to the basics is what keeps me active. There is nothing more basic (yet beneficial!) than walking.
Walk to Events and Dinners
If your host’s location is within a few kilometers, walking is very feasible (it generally takes about 15 minutes to walk one kilometer). My secret for walking to events in the winter is to carry my dress shoes in a bag and wear walking shoes or boots. My second secret is that I dress slightly on the cold side so that I don’t perspire much. Pack an extra sweater with your dress shoes if you’re worried about getting cold.
Keep Walking Even When the Weather is Bad
If you’re a regular walker and want to keep going on days it is icy or stormy out, call your local mall administration office and see if there are organized walking groups in the morning before stores open. If there aren’t, suggest creating one. The parks and recreation department of your municipality might be able to help you set it up.
Be an Opportunist
There’s always a way to sneak in some extra steps. Park your car at the very end of the parking lot when you’re out shopping for presents. At work, set up walk-and-talk meetings or take the stairs instead of the elevator. On the weekend, check out festive light decorations by taking a stroll around your neighborhood.
Find Your Motivation
For motivation and to track progress I plan on using the Carrots Rewards app on my smart phone. It tracks my steps, and I get rewards for taking more! If you like to keep things simple, try a paper log and track your progress.
Regular walking provides many health benefits and can reduce the risk of chronic disease. If you’re new to being active, aiming to take around 10,000 steps per day is a fantastic goal. That number may seem high but if you combine all the little walks throughout your day it adds up!
Which of the above ideas can you incorporate into your life this holiday season? How many steps will you take?
HealthLinkBC: Reducing Holiday Stress