DancingWith all the demands the holiday season places on our time and attention it’s no wonder weight gain is a worry. Don’t let the idea of pounds creeping up get you down. Here are a few fun ways to stop holiday weight gain.

Keep moving

Just because you can’t make it to the gym doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Wear a pedometer and count your steps while you shop. Invite family and co-workers to join you in a step challenge. Pick a small prize or special privilege to reward the winner with each week. Don’t be shy – the more trash talk the better for motivation.

Dance the night away

This is the season for parties, so dance! Here’s a hint…you don’t even have to wait for a partner. Just let the music lead you. Dancing is fun anytime so you don’t have to wait for a party either. Keep the tunes cranked up while cooking and let yourself go. The bonus – you’ll be letting go of a few calories, too.

Get in the game

Head out to the yard or street during half-time and get in your own game. Pit women against men or parents against children for a fun way to get moving and create lasting memories.

Get a buddy pass

Maybe you want to go to the gym but you don’t want to leave house guests behind. Ask for a buddy pass to shed pounds and stress together. You can also get the family together for calisthenics at home. Just 15 minutes of exercises like jumping jacks, squats and planks can get everybody moving. As an added benefit you get those endorphins, the feel good chemicals, flowing which could mean fewer family squabbles.

Play back in the day

Let the grown-ups show the youngsters what play was like before it was taken over by technology. Haul out hula-hoops and jump ropes; draw a hopscotch and set up relay or three-legged races if the weather permits. Outdoor activities are fun ways to spend time with family while getting in a bit of fitness. Tag, holiday weight gain won’t catch you.


Stand and move

People that fidget and get up more throughout the day expend more energy (read, calories) than those that don’t. Stand and cheer for your favorite team. Play hand games with your sister like you used to. Think up challenges you can do during commercial breaks. For example, who can hold the longest plank or do the most pushups before the show comes back on.


Save shows for the treadmill

Since you’re busy you will probably DVR your favorite shows anyway. Resolve not to watch them unless you are exercising.


Play when and then

Dessert can be a treat as well as a reward if you decide “when I’ve finished my after dinner walk then I will treat myself to a slice of pie.”

Be active

Skip the usual Christmas at home and head for the ski slope or another active destination. You can maintain your weight, and maybe even lose a pound or two, during the holidays without feeling diet deprived. The key is to keep moving.