6 Ways to Stay Active: A Holiday Guide  

6 Ways to Stay Active: A Holiday Guide  

The holidays are here! Many of us look forward to spending time with family friends and eating great food during this season. As exciting as this time of year can be, it is important to keep physical activity a priority. Adults are recommended to spend 2.5 hours each week doing moderately intense activity (like fast walking) OR 1 hour and 15 minutes of intense activity (like jogging or running). [1]

It can be easy to forget to pencil-in exercise on your to-do list! This list takes the guesswork out by offering some easy and fun ways to keep your body moving during this season.

1. Put on your running shoes.

Running is a great way to get your heart rate up. This has many heart healthy benefits like:

  • reduced blood pressure
  • lower cholesterol
  • a stronger heart [2]

2. Play a sports game with family and friends.

Keep the family both engaged and active by organizing a team sports game in the yard. Some options are flag football, soccer and cornhole.

family playing soccer

3. Find your inner calm with yoga.

Yoga is a great way to relax with the added stressors of the holidays. This activity can be done alone or with a group and has been shown to reduce the stress response in the body and lower blood pressure. [3] If you have never done yoga before, try using the app Down Dog or one of the many free instructional videos available online!

4. Use household items for a quick workout.

You may already have more exercise resources than you think! Check your pantry for canned goods to use as dumbbells for an upper-body workout. Wall squats can engage your lower body. Stairclimbing can be a great indoor or outdoor activity to get the heart rate up.

5. Go for a bike ride.

Biking is a great way to get outdoors and exercise with the family. Make sure to look up trails or bike-friendly parks in your area before heading out.

6. Find a new favorite exercise app.

There are many fitness apps available for free. A few we like are listed below. These apps include some exercise plans and instructional videos to make staying active easy.

  • MyFitnessPal
  • POPSUGAR Active
  • Nike + Training Club
  • Pinterest

woman sitting next to weights

Interested in morerecipes, cooking and exercisevideos?OrSign Upfor our Food Talk eNewsletter and find out if you are eligible for online classes.

Written by Darci Bell, Ph.D. Student | Edited by Laurel Sanville, MS, RDN, LD


  1. Department of Health and Human Services.
  2. Marongiu & Crisafulli, 2014
  3. Harvard Health

For recipes and more: