How to Reduce Stress by Moving More
Video by Jonathan Parrish
Because many families are celebrating this holiday season a little differently, we might feel a little stressed.
One of the things that helps me stay grounded during this time is physical activity. It’s one of the most important things you can do for your health. Physical activity has many health benefits, including reducing the risk of certain health conditions, managing weight, improving balance, preventing falls, and so much more.
Here are some ways you can stay physically active during the holidays.
Limit screen time. Most of us have had an overload of screen time this year -- from social media to ordering items online. Consider taking some time off from social media and TV to reconnect with yourself, family, and friends.
Be active as a family. Play flag football, hopscotch, hide-and-seek, or whatever your family enjoys. Take family game night up a notch and consider family game week. Be active with family and friends via virtual platforms, like video conferencing or physical activity apps. A little family-friendly competition is good for the soul.
Take a walk. If your neighborhood has Christmas lights, and you can safely walk or bike the area, take a stroll instead of driving.
Get the entire family involved in doing household chores. Housework is a great way to be physically active. Turn on some music and dance the house clean.
Create family memories. Treat your family to a day of physical activity outdoors. Go to the park or on a hiking excursion. Take advantage of any pandemic-approved “fun runs” that may be offered, like a turkey trot or jingle bell run or create your very own family fun run.
Are you making a pecan pie? Gather your pecans instead of buying them at the store. Add a family game to see who can gather the most pecans in 10 minutes.
- If the weather is nice, get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Did you know that sunlight is your best source of vitamin D? Get some sunlight, and your body will make Vitamin D!
- Plan ahead. More than likely, things will come up that can prevent physical activity. When this happens, try to be physically active without distraction at least 10 minutes a day during the holidays.
- Everything in moderation, even physical activity. Don’t be distracted by trying to fit in physical activity if it interfers with your ability to be present with your family.
For more information on physical activity and how it fits into a healthy lifestyle, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Choose MyPlate websites.
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