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Holiday Warm Ups: 4 Tips to Stay Active in Frosty Weather

Woman using Broccoli stalk like a MicWith fewer daylight hours and frosty outdoor temperatures, it’s tempting to spend more time sitting by the fireplace drinking cocoa to stay warm. But how about warming up with a little physical activity? Get active and you’ll keep your lungs in shape for caroling, too.

Here are four ideas to maintain your fitness throughout the season for a double bonus: to keep up your physical activity for lower cancer risk and dial down your stress level so you can enjoy the special food, fun and family time.

1. Pop in a DVD

Skip the movie and find a fun workout routine or two for everything from vigorous aerobic dance to resistance exercises to yoga. If you don’t have favorites already, read this Healthtalk column on how to choose exercise videos appropriate for your level of fitness and goals.

2. Go Shopping

Strap on the pedometer and walk everywhere you can. If you’re in a mall, swap out escalators for the stairs and be sure to walk past every store. Town or city street shopping? Dress warmly and step up the pace between stores to get your heart rate up. Keep going until you've hit 60 minutes of walking, or are clearly on track to meet the 10,000 step daily goal.

3. Fit It In

While you’re waiting for the cookies to bake, pick up your hand weights or grab the stretch band for some resistance training. Need a break from wrapping gifts? See how many jumping jacks or push-ups you can do. If the stress is getting to you, put on your favorite music and polish up your dance moves.

4. Dress Up

If you believe the mantra that there’s no bad weather, just bad clothing, you might want to take your activity outside. Get a warm hat that covers your ears, some non-cotton socks, a good pair of mittens or gloves, and a waterproof jacket to stay comfortable in all kinds of weather and temperatures.

However you add it up – get in your 30 to 60 minutes of moderate activity every day, plus mini fitness breaks throughout the day – and you’ll enjoy a healthy and cancer-preventive holiday season.

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