Your Holiday Guide to Staying Active... Without the Gym

8 Tips for Staying Active, Even When You Can't Workout

It can be tough to stick to your normal workout routine throughout the holiday season. With all the parties, family get-togethers and children's school events, your regular schedule pretty much goes out the window.

Even on weeks when hitting the gym simply isn't possible, that doesn't mean you can't squeeze in extra activity to keep your fitness goals on track. This type of NEAT activity (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) adds to your daily calorie burn and can help you control your weight, even without a formal exercise routine.

Now, that's not to say you should write off your holiday fitness program altogether - you can still squeeze quick, at-home workouts into your day - but by looking for ways to increase your total activity, you don't need to worry as much about falling off the fitness wagon altogether.

Increase Your Physical Activity Around the House

Hanging Christmas Decorations
Getty Images/Jodi Jacobson

Your house is practically your own personal fitness center, even if you don't own a set of dumbbells. Little things like clearing away dead shrubbery or hanging your own Christmas lights can increase your heart rate and help you break a sweat. Just don't negate your effort by overdoing the egg nog while you work.

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Get Active With Your Dog

Emmi Buck

Sure, it's cold outside, but Fido needs exercise, too! Grab your favorite four-legged friend and try one of these fun activities that takes a break from the typical walk. You could even go searching for the perfect Christmas tree together.

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Get Busy During Your Commute

Sam Edwards/Getty Images

Commuting is the worst, and it doesn't get any better during the holiday shopping season. Reduce stress, take your mind off the crazy driver in the car next to you and try a few of these stretches and exercises you can do on your way to work.

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Turn Your Cleaning Routine Into a Workout Routine

Getty Images / E+ / Justin Horrocks

You have to clean to get your house ready for grandma, right? Since cleaning's already a foregone conclusion, you might as well get the most out of it. Use these tips to break a sweat while you sweep.

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Try a Quick, Desk Chair Workout

Let's get real - you're probably not all that good at concentrating at work between Thanksgiving and New Year's. If you're just sitting at your desk twiddling your thumbs, hop up and take 10 minutes to do these exercises. You'll boost your energy in the process.

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Stay Active While Traveling

Vacation Workout
Getty Images/Jordan Siemens

One of the easiest times to slack off a workout routine is when you're away from home. If your holiday plans involve a trip to see family, make a choice in advance to find ways to get active by yourself or as a group. Your ability to stay on track really comes down to your own motivation, not your location.

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Wear Activewear Everywhere to Increase Activity

Under Armour Tank Sweat to Street
Laura Williams

It's a whole lot easier to stay active if you're dressed for it. In fact, a study out of the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, found that individuals who wore comfortable clothes to work were more likely to be active throughout the day. I'd say that's all the excuse you need to wear activewhere everywhere. Learn how to do it well.

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Track Your Daily Activity With a Fitness Wearable

Basis Peak
Basis Peak

The American Heart Association recently released a position statement indicating that using a fitness tracking device may help increase daily physical activity. When you have a tracking device attached to your body all day long, you're more likely to be conscious of your habits and take steps (literally!) to increase your activity.

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