‘Tis the most wonderful time of the year for doing just about everything: eating, baking, shopping, getting together with family and friends, cuddling up around Its a Wonderful Life while sipping hot chocolate.
But the holidays are also the best time of year for something that everyone seems to forget about: working out. We’re quite serious—there’s no better time of year than right now to get active.
Here are the top 10 reasons why:
01. You totally love your family … until you don’t and you’re ready to kill everyone. The best way to prevent that, relieve stress and avoid a fight? Take it outside or to the gym. You’ll come back all smiles and loving everyone again.
02. The holidays are the all about one thing: Pie. And cookies. And candy. Oh, and turkey, ham, Grandma’s stuffing, mashed potatoes and 80 zillion other tasty things. So balance all that eating with something that will make you hungry for it: Exercise. Because the taste of pie is so much sweeter when you worked for it, right? Right. “All I Want for Christmas is You, Pie. So I am going to run for you—then to you.”
03. There’s no better music for working out than Christmas music. Think about it. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree? Step Into Christmas? Run Rudolph Run? The stuff is practically begging you to get off your butt and start moving.
04. Remember during Thanksgiving when your uncle and brother beat you and your family teammates in flag football? Well, now it’s time for revenge. To the backyard!
05. Going home for the holidays is all about nostalgia. And there is nothing more nostalgic than sneaking into your high school gym to work out on circa-1970s Universal gym equipment under poor lighting while you reflect on your glory days. Can’t break into your high school thanks to all the increased school security these days? Head to your old hometown gym to inevitably run into all your old classmates and relive good times.
06. If you’re not going home for the holidays, that means you’re traveling, which is even better. Take advantage of being somewhere new to get jazzed to explore the area via running, biking, walking or hiking. And you never know what you might stroll into, perhaps even a caroling party or tree lighting! Dream big.
07. Catching up with family and old friends by hanging out in the kitchen or at a bar can get old real fast. Take your reunion outdoors by suggesting a long walk with coffee in hand.
08. Holiday shopping can be a workout when you make it one. Start by heading to that really inconvenient parking space that you’ll likely end up after circling for hours anyway and power walk to stores. Buy something heavy and carry it along with the rest of your bags. It’s vital you go all out or go home.
09. Home Alone and bored out of your mind? Pop in the aforementioned movie and do an at-home workout circuit of 10 pushups, 10 crunches, 10 burpees, 10 lunges and whatever other bodyweight exercises you like to do.
010. You’re not at work right now. You have no usual routine. That means you have no excuse not to get moving.