Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Exercising Amid the Holidays

By Shannon Smith, Stroller Strides

No time to exercise with the busyness of the holiday season? Try turning everyday activities into fitness opportunities. You CAN fit fitness into your life!
• Walk – You’ve heard it before, and it’s true. Walking can be a workout, especially if you’re pushing a stroller or carrying a baby in a front pack carrier. Whenever possible, give yourself extra opportunities to walk to where you’re going, even if it means parking the car in the farthest parking spot. 
Take the stairs – The more you take the stairs, the more exercise you’ll get. If you carry your baby up and down stairs (while using good posture of course), you will fit even more fitness in. Think of it as a Stairmaster times two when you’re carrying the weight of your baby!
• Participate with your kids- Are your kids in soccer or ballet or some other physical activity? Find out if it’s ok if you walk around the field or even participate with your child rather than watching from the side lines with the other parents. Practice what they’ve learned with them at home.
• Pick Up Those Toys – Turn clean-up into fitness. Here’s how: stand in front of a toy, squat low keeping your bottom down, keep back and abs tight and strong. Squat down, squeeze up, repeat!
• Tighten That Tummy – No matter where you are, no matter what you’re doing, tighten that tummy. You can work your abdominal muscles when you drive, when you walk, when you work, and when you play. Contract abdominal wall without holding in your breath. Imagine you’re trying to fit into a really tight pair of jeans and if you let your tummy out, they will pop open. Keep that tummy engaged.
 The more you move, the more fitness you’ll fit in. It’s consistency that counts; not where you do it. Try to be active in whatever you do. Instead of getting your car washed, do it yourself with your kids. Not only is it fun, but it’s great exercise. The same goes for cleaning the house, yard work, and even walking the dog.

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