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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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December 23, 2008

10 Active Ways to Celebrate the Holidays

By Worker Bee
18 Comments

We know. Probably isn’t the day for sprints or weightlifting when you’re in the midst of celebrating. The holidays themselves are about spending time with family, honoring spiritual and cultural traditions, relaxing, and maybe over-indulging a bit. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get some activity in (beyond reaching for another appetizer). Granted, hardcore Grokkers (you know who you are) might not skip the day. For most people, however, prying ourselves off the sofa in search of another ‘nog will be our biggest physical feat of the day.

On the docket – ideas fun enough to inspire a break from couch-warming, perhaps inclusive enough to get the whole group going, but not so taxing that you’re left without energy for the main events of the day. We look at it this way: a little movement makes the feasting and chilling all the more enjoyable!

Morning Hike/Snow Shoe/Cross-Country

A great way to quietly begin the day for yourself before all the hoopla gets going (especially if you don’t have kids waking you up at the crack of dawn). Have munchkins tiptoeing in your room before any motivation to rise and shine? Make it a family affair after presents and breakfast but before the parade, lunch, and guests.

Polar Plunge

Is there any better way to ring in the New Year? (Come on, you know you want to try it….) So, who’s on board? Takers? Takers? Bueller?

Sledding

A perfect way to get the kids out of the house so you can get the big dinner underway, but don’t let yourself miss out on all the fun! Once the turkey or roast is in the oven, don your parka and join the rest of your merry bunch. Share tales of your own childhood adventures, and show ‘em how it’s done! No seedlings? No matter. There’s nothing like sledding to bring out the youth, vitality, and mischievous ambition in all of us. Enjoy getting in touch with your 10-year-old self. Definitely a Grok-approved activity.

Snowman Making/Sculpture Contest

Anyone who’s rolled that 4-foot-high ball of a snowman’s bottom around the yard knows it takes some grit and determination. (Ah, but the kiddies love it!) Go ahead and earn that turkey leg!

Ultimate Frisbee

One of Mark’s favs, as he recently shared. And don’t worry if you don’t find yourself in shirtless weather this holiday. Snow makes it all the more challenging (and potentially comical). Let the family dogs get in the mix, and you have yourself a great way to pass the afternoon (and work up a mean appetite for dinner).

Skiing/Snowboarding

Whether it’s some casual downhill at an area park or a full out “destination” holiday to some serious slopes, go for a bit of family adventure. (Mark has his own plans for this one over the holiday!) A great way to live the day to the fullest (and healthiest)!

Game of Ball

Sure, you can park it on the couch and watch NFL, but consider at least taking an active half-time break. Soccer, American football, baseball, etc. – no matter. Just throw the ball around for fun, or round up the rellies for a casual Pop Warner type game. Who knows, it might develop into full out sprints for long bombs or a full on tackle game.

Wii Sports

Yes, we’ve mocked it in the past. (Blame Fuming Fuji.) While we’re not suggesting Wii Sports as a bona fide workout, it can be a fun group activity that inspires even Uncle Earl and Gramma Rose up off the couch. Be prepared for some good laughs, and have the camera poised and ready….

After Dinner Walk

After the dishes are put away (or officially left for the morning), get the group out to enjoy some holiday lights. Or, for a more festive spin, gather the songbooks and go caroling around the neighborhood.

Ready for some personal time away from the fray? Step out for a stroll around the block, or grab the dog’s leash and say you have to let Rover stretch his legs. Savor the peace and quiet, and relive your favorite memories of the day.

Night Skating

Again, excellent as a group activity, or magical as a lone (or partnered) escapade. Let loose, let go of the day’s stress, or use the time to reflect and experience the quieter, more personal (or romantic?) angle of the holidays. Whether you’re surrounded by laughing kids and merry hordes or whether it’s just you and the stars, it’s a great way to recenter and remember the best the holidays have to offer.

Have your own traditions or tips for getting up (and maybe out) during the holidays? We’d love to hear your suggestions.

Greg_e, Scott Butner, Voxphoto, andreasmarx, Diaper dad, Chaval Brasil, Birdfreak.com, avlxyz, steph*, sleight42 Flickr Photos (CC)

Further Reading:

10 Ways to Stay Active in the Cold Winter Months

Weight Gained During Exercise Hiatus is Tough to Lose

Let the Sun Shine In

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18 Comments on "10 Active Ways to Celebrate the Holidays"

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Son of Grok
7 years 9 months ago

Lol.. “Ultimate Freezebee”.

The SoG

Holly
Holly
7 years 9 months ago

We have a tradition of going whale watching on Christmas Day. It’s a bit of a hike to get to the perfect point to spot the whales, so we get some exercise. Then it is so peaceful and beautiful when we get there. Not to mention all of the excitement looking out for the whales. It’s one of my favorite Christmas traditions.

Jane
Jane
7 years 9 months ago

My family loves football, so even though we tend to watch it all day, we always take the time for our own pick-up game in the backyard. It normally ends with us all laying on the grass laughing hysterically.

Rudolph
Rudolph
7 years 9 months ago

Well, its not quite the traditional exercise – but a family tradition at my house is card games (or occasionally board games) after dinner. While we’re not up and running/hiking/skiing, between the laughing, yelling, and pranks played, I swear its exercise! Great family bonding time too when all of a sudden its 3am and we still have the full family sitting around the table.

Jerry
Jerry
7 years 9 months ago

I’m sad to find out that pressing the buttons on my remote control doesn’t count. 😉 I’m only kidding of course. Merry Christmas everyone.

Fit Bottomed Girls
7 years 9 months ago

I’m not sure about the polar plunge, but I am all about the Wii Sports and snowman making! 🙂

Martha
Martha
7 years 9 months ago

I have some friends that do a polar plunge every year – I definitely stand to the side and take pictures. They love it, but I’m staying out of the water! (I never fail to laugh a ton though!)

Zen Frittata
7 years 9 months ago

Polar plunge and a ton of Guitar Hero!

JE Gonzalez
7 years 9 months ago

Me and my family are going to go on an 8-hour horseback riding trip tomorrow. I did ll those things in Canada when I studied there, except for Wii things. It was completely sold out by that point. Are you seriously a Wii owner Mark? I never would have imagined.

Tom Parker - Free Fitness Tips
7 years 9 months ago

Hey Mark. Snowball fighting is another good, fun exercise over the Christmas holidays too. Lots of sprinting, ducking and diving plus it’s very enjoyable.

Andrew R - Go Healthy Go Fit
7 years 9 months ago

Instead of hot potato, you can play “hot turkey” with the family… nothing like some good old plyos!! Hahaha

All the Best,

Andrew R

Dr Dan
7 years 9 months ago

I like your style mark!!! If there is two things I have definitely gained from your blog its that saturated fats are ok and its more important to combine a wide variety of fun activities into your lifestyle than doing long drawn out monotonous work outs.

marjann
7 years 9 months ago

cool ideas!

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[…] and nutrition on his blog, The Daily Apple , suggests 10 ways to stay active during the holidays. Check out his post here […]

James
4 years 9 months ago

I agree. These are great ways to celebrate the holidays. I also think that snowball fighting is a good winter activity, especially at Christmas time.

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[…] 10 Active Ways to Celebrate the Holidays […]

Hadi
2 years 8 months ago

Actually, I agree with this proposition , but anything not the same of a glasses of wine. ..

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[…] Marks Daily Apple: Holiday Survival Guide Part I and Part II, Active Ways To Celebrate The Holidays […]

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