As I have discussed in previous posts, fitting in exercise around Christmas is extremely difficult. The weather is cold and icy plus you have plenty of social commitments which take up the time that you would normally reserve for exercise. The good news is that you can still get some physical activity over the festive period if you are a little creative. 1 way to fit more exercise into your day is to look at your meetings with family as an opportunity to exercise. Don’t worry. You’re not going to be marching them down to the gym when all they want to do is have a relaxing afternoon. Instead try 1 of these 9 fun family exercise ideas:
1) BUILD A SNOWMAN
If you are lucky enough to have a white Christmas then building a snowman is a great exercise that all the family can enjoy. All you need is some snow, a few lumps of coal or stones for buttons and a carrot for the nose. Optional extras include a hat and scarf. Not only is building a snowman a great way to spend some time with your kids but it also burns a reasonable 285 calories per hour.
2) GO FOR A WALK
Walking is a great way to stop the whole family becoming bloated and tired after a big Christmas dinner. So before everyone gets too comfortable and starts cracking open the drinks, suggest a walk to the local park. There will be plenty of time for alcohol and watching movies later but by going for a walk before everyone gets too settled you can get some fresh air and burn an additional 240 calories per hour.
3) GO ICE SKATING
If you have a local outdoor ice rink then this is a really good exercise that you can do with the whole family. It’s also a particularly good opportunity to teach a new skill to the young children in the group who have never ice skated before. An hour of moderate ice skating burns an impressive 355 calories and if you really crank up the intensity you can burn a significant to 600 calories an hour.
4) GO SLEDDING
Sledding is another fun family exercise you can try this Christmas. All you need is a sled, a hill and some snow. You might not think sledding burns many calories as you are just sliding down a hill. However, climbing back up the hill burns more calories than you think. Just 1 hour of sledding burns a notable 476 calories per hour.
5) GO SNOWBOARDING
Snowboarding is an excellent exercise idea for the more adventurous families and can be turned into a full day out. All you need to do is find your local snowboarding centre, book your places and show up in some warm clothing. In terms of calories burned, snowboarding is pretty effective and gets through an impressive 429 calories per hour.
6) GO SNOW TUBING
Snow tubing is a unique twist on snowboarding and sledding. Instead of going down the hill on a sled or on a board, you slide down in a rubber ring. Generally, snow tubing is cheaper than snowboarding and is also a lot more friendly to beginners. It also matches snowboarding in terms of calories burned and gets through 429 calories an hour.
7) HAVE A SNOWBALL FIGHT
Snowball fights are great fun for people of any age. You could get 1 started on the way back from your walk in the park or alternatively go out in the garden and have a snowball fight. Just 1 hour of snowball fighting burns 319 calories per hour.
8) MAKE SNOW ANGELS
You probably think lying in the snow making snow angels burns little to no calories. However, you will be surprised to learn that it actually uses 214 calories an hour. Whilst you won’t be doing this for a full hour you can factor it in with 1 of the other exercises listed above. For example, if you go for a walk to the park, make some snow angels when you get there and then walk back home.
9) PLAY FOOTBALL
If you are into your team sports then why not suggest a game of football? It’s a great way to introduce a bit of healthy competition and get some exercise. Plus, if there’s snow on the pitch it becomes a whole lot more fun with all the slipping and sliding. In terms of calories burned, even just a casual game of football burns 476 calories whilst if you are a really competitive family you can burn up to 680 calories an hour.
If you get your thinking cap on there are plenty of fun family exercise ideas that you can suggest when meeting up over Christmas. If you suggested a day out snow tubing or snowboarding I’m sure everyone would leap at the chance. Even a walk in the local park would be met with a welcome response as it would give everyone the opportunity to get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors.
Now I’d like to hear from you guys. Do you have any fun family exercise ideas that you use over the festive period? Do you think it’s a good idea to involve the family in your fitness routine over Christmas? Leave a comment and let me know.