Skip to content

Fall and winter activities can help you balance out those holiday feasts

Sage butter-basted turkey. Hazelnut praline and chocolate chunk torte. White cheddar and red pepper biscuits.

Does it seem like just reading the names of your favorite holiday fare causes the pounds to arrive like unwelcome gifts?

Even with the best intentions, the holidays cause many of us to eat a little too much, or to miss a few too many workouts.

So WebMD turned to health and fitness pros for holiday help. These experts gave us some of their simple tips on how -- between travel, parties, cooking, and company -- we can burn off some of those celebratory calories.

1. Do Your Home Work

The scenario: A festive cookie exchange at the office causes you to miss your yoga class, company's coming tonight, and the house is a mess.

Lucky you! "Housework is the best way to fit in a workout without even knowing it," says Shannon Griffiths, group fitness director for Lakeshore Athletic Club in Boulder, Colo. Scrubbing, sweeping, vacuuming ... they all burn calories.

Even cooking fires up the calorie furnace, says Griffiths, especially if you're moving around the kitchen. So put on perky music and boogie down while you bake.

2. Shop Until You Drop -- Pounds!

"I like to use shopping as exercise, too," says Griffiths, who maintains that the best thing about going to the mall is all the walking. "That translates into a calorie burn."

To maximize that burn, Griffith recommends carrying your own holiday packages, then unloading them after every stop.

"If you're going to buy something at 10 different shops, go out to your car between each store," Griffiths says.

To encourage yourself to make those multiple trips to the parking lot or to take the mall stairs instead of elevators, Griffiths recommends wearing a pedometer.

"A pedometer really encourages you to ... get moving," she says. "You have to go shopping, so you might as well get a workout as you're doing it!"

Keep your pace brisk and you can burn 250-300 calories an hour.

3. Make Snow Your Ally

When it's snowing, it's time to bundle up and enjoy the free gym outside.

Heart Rate Calculator

Ensure you're exercising hard enough to get a good workout, but not strain your heart.

While you are exercising, you should count between...

-
Beats
PER
Seconds

Heart Rate Calculator

Ensure you're exercising hard enough to get a good workout, but not strain your heart.

While you are exercising, you should count between...

-
Beats
PER
Seconds