5 Fun and Festive Activities... That Are Also Good For You
The Christmas season is well and truly here. Between family traditions, work obligations, and celebrations with friends, you’re likely to be surrounded by opportunities to eat, drink, and be merry. Make the most of these and enjoy every moment of them!
But if you’re currently working on your health or starting a journey to a healthier lifestyle, you might be wondering whether you can still enjoy the season to the fullest without completely ruining all your hard work and progress. We believe you absolutely can. It just requires a little creative thinking and a willingness to build your own traditions.
Looking for some inspiration? Here are five fun seasonal activities that are also good for your physical and mental health.
Take Part in a Santa Run
What is a Santa Run? Also sometimes called a Santa Dash, it is simply a fun run where all the participants dress up in a Father Christmas outfit. Santa Run events tend to take place over fairly short distances, such as 5km, and over easy terrain, making them family-friendly and non-competitive events.
Many Santa Runs are hosted by charities as fundraising events, so you can feel good that your registration fee and any sponsorship money you raise will be funding a worthwhile cause. Why not get the whole family involved to help out local charities, have fun, and make some festive memories together?
Make Some Cute and Creative Seasonal Snacks
When you think of Christmas snack food, you might be thinking about things like chocolates and mince pies. While these can be delicious in moderation, too many can lead to unwelcome health implications such as weight gain and sugar crashes.
Cooking together is an aspect of the holiday season that many families treasure. How about replacing some of those Christmas cookies with healthier alternatives? You can make all kinds of cute and creative festive goodies with fruits, vegetables, cheese, eggs, nuts, meats, and other delicious, healthy foods.
Woman’s Day has some great suggestions for healthy seasonal snacks your children will love, from Strawberry Santas and Banana Snowmen to Watermelon Trees and Star Sandwiches. Or why not challenge your kids to come up with their own ideas and then make them together?
The sparkly lights are among the most eye-catching and iconic parts of the Christmas season. From simple home displays to elaborate setups in public places, going out to see the lights is a wonderful way to get into the Christmas spirit. It’s also a great way to get some more movement into your day.
It can be difficult to motivate yourself and your family to get out of the house to exercise when it is dark and cold. Going light-spotting can make it fun. You can take a walk around your neighborhood and admire everyone’s home displays, do a light trail around your nearest major town or city, or even take a trip to one of the country’s very best Christmas light displays.
You’re never too old to enjoy a snow day and whatever the weather, playing outside is good for your physical and mental wellbeing. If you’re lucky enough to get snow this Christmas, head outside and build a snowman, make snow angels, go sledding, or look for animal prints.
Even if you live somewhere that doesn’t get much snow, you can still enjoy the outdoors. Play catch, have a family game of football, make and hang bird feeders, or go on a nature walk. The possibilities are endless and what matters most is getting out in the fresh air and doing something together.
Go Ice Skating
If you’ve ever tried ice skating, you’ll know that it is much harder than those glamorous Olympic skaters make it look! Fortunately, you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy the benefits of this popular winter sport, which works almost every muscle in the body as well as giving you a great cardiovascular workout.
To try skating, head to your local rink. Many towns and cities also open temporary ice rinks during the winter months where you can have a go. You will be able to hire skates if you don’t have your own.
Don’t be tempted to skate on a frozen lake, pond or reservoir unless it has been officially designated as a safe skating location by experts. This can be very dangerous, as the ice may be thinner or more brittle than it looks and can break without warning.
After skating, enjoy a hot and healthy warming drink such as a spiced tea, mulled apple cider, or low-sugar hot chocolate.