I feel like everywhere I look, I see a Holiday Fitness Challenge being posted on somebody’s blog.

And I’m not hating on them.  In fact, I love the idea behind these challenges – stay accountable during the holiday season so that come January, you aren’t as big as a house.

I like this idea.  People should come in people sizes, not house ones.

Some of my favorite challenges going on right now are:

What I don’t like during this time of year is any FOOD challenges.  Actually, I don’t like food challenges period, but that’s a post for another day.  I think that the holidays are meant to be enjoyed to their fullest.  Special cookies, mugs of hot cocoa and candy canes – I approve of whole heartedly!!  What most of us do, however, is eat WAY too much of these “treat foods” and stop going to the gym because these foods make us feel sluggish (plus, it’s so gosh darn cold and dark all the time!).  That’s why I love the fitness challenges that keep exercising on the front burner.

My holiday approach:  Eat all things in moderation and exercise just a little bit extra. 

(I have to be careful not to go overboard on the exercise part, but so far, I’m doing a pretty good job.  Travis helps in that department – he checks in to make sure I’m not overdoing it.)

Anyway, I don’t have a challenge for you today.  What I DO have are some tips on ways to sneak extra movement into your day.  Complete all of these and you’ve earned an extra Christmas cookie!


5 Ways to Sneak in Extra Exercise!

1. Avoid sitting

By simply choosing to STAND rather than SIT, you can burn an extra 50 calories per hour, which can really add up over time!  Pace around when you talk on the phone.  Play at the park with your kids instead of watching from the sidelines.  March in place while watching Glee instead of sitting on the couch.  (<-NEW POST coming up next week on this idea!)

Simply put:  Make a point of STANDING more!


2. If you sit, sit wisely

If you work in an office environment, sub out your traditional office chair for a stability ball!  Not only will you burn more calories when you are sitting, you can work on your core stabilizers at the same time.  Another tip: Set an alarm to go off every hour and get up and move around – go refill your water bottle or make a few laps up and down the office stairs.  There is actually an app called “Break Pal” that alerts you every 30 minutes and gives you mini exercise sessions that you can perform AT YOUR DESK!  Kinda cool.

3. Choose High-Intensity Interval Training


High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is a form of exercise training that alternates between short bursts of high intensity movement and lower intensity movement.  HIIT is perfect for anyone who is short on time (YOU!), because you can get a full body workout that only takes about 10-20 minutes of your time.  The key to HIIT is to make sure you’re giving the high intensity bursts 100% of your effort.

For more information about high intensity interval training and Tabata training (a form of HIIT), go here.

4. Go Shopping

You’ve got to buy holiday gifts anyway – you might as well turn the task into a way to burn some extra calories.  Go to the mall or a Super Target and WALK!  Mall walking is perfect this time of year – it’s a warm place you can bring a stroller, it’s safe, and the sights and sounds provide enough stimulation to keep most children (and husbands) happy.


In fact, turn what could be a one time shopping experience into several – a couple of trips to window shop, a couple to price compare, and then one final stop to purchase your gifts.

5. Apply the “Rules of Addition”

Use the “Rules of Addition Method” – adding little bits of exercise up during the day for a total daily workout time of 30 minutes.  You don’t have to do 30 minutes of straight exercise – just aim for more MOVEMENT overall!  Parking farther away at the grocery store, taking the stairs, commercial break crunches – It all adds up!!!  Every little bit of exercise adds years to your life and takes inches off your fanny!

There you have it.  MOVE MORE! 

And Yes.  I said fanny.

QUESTION:  Give me some of your “MOVE MORE” tips!!!


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  1. These are awesome tips! I love using shopping as a way to get moving, kill two birds with one stone ;) I have never heard of that app though! That sounds awesome! I will have to look that up, thanks for sharing!!!

  2. Love these tips! They really do add up don’t they :)

    Sitting is actually a big one. I remember reading somewhere that’s it not the fact that people don’t exercise enough it’s that people aren’t active enough throughout the entire day. Doing one exercise session doesn’t give you permission to sit down for the rest of the day haha.

    Hmm some of my move more tips-
    1. Place something you regularly need further away so you have to make little trips everytime you need to use/have it. Better yet, put it upstairs while your down or vice versa.
    2. Use ad breaks wisely!
    3. Walk around your neighbourhood looking at xmas lights.
    4. Do bum squeezes and small muscle tensing exercises in the car- whilst in traffic or waiting at the lights of course.
    5. Park slightly further away to walk a bit extra.

  3. I have my own little December fitness challenge going on…30 minutes every day of any exercise. It can be spread out throughout the day, but at least 30 minutes is mandatory. No excuses. So far it’s going really well..and it really does make me feel better (especially with those extra sweets I’ve been enjoying!).

  4. While I love to workout (and eat). I am done with all types of ‘challenges’ for eating and working out over the holiday season. I ‘might’ gain 3 lbs over the 2 month period (I don’t weigh myself). It doesn’t really matter. I have enough stress in my life w/o having to worry about moving more/eating less just so I can ‘stay in shape during the holidays’

  5. for people living in the city (like me!) walking to work can be a great way to sneak in a little exercise. it takes me 30 minutes in total to take the subway — but if i walk, it only takes 40 minutes! waking up a little earlier and getting ready fast can get me out the door 10 minutes earlier, and then i get to exercise in the time i would have wasted sitting on the subway.

  6. Awhile ago I realized that I’m going to be the old lady that walks the mall to stay active – AND I’M TOTALLY OKAY WITH IT!!! :)

    But I think you really hit it on the head with these tips, it’s really about the little actions we take throughout the day to move more. Sometimes I think it’s also a great reminder that since EVERY bit COUNTS, even when we can’t get in more than 20 or 30 minutes of exercise, THAT’s OKAY! This is often my reminder when it comes to practicing yoga. Every bit counts, so even 20 minutes can ground me and make me feel refreshed and renewed.

  7. Love this extra tips to sneak in exercise and I couldn’t agree with you more about the food challenges. I give huge amounts of credit to anyone able to lose weight over the holidays but I would never recommend it. Holidays are meant to enjoy and not to obsess which is why these tips are perfect!

  8. I love work from home days because I set my computer up on the bar so I can stand while I work. If I’m in te office I sit on my stability ball! Another tip is drinking a ton of water. It will help flush out some of those treats and having to pee all the time will keep you moving about!

  9. LOVE your tips! Great ones for sure! I find myself sitting at the computer in the day lots, so I do try to stand or get up and move around often!

    I am glad you love my challenge, I love the others you listed too!

    Love you!

  10. I love the idea of taking any extra opportunity to WALK! It feels so good, is so good for you, and adds a bit more movement into your day. I’ll take the long way as I walk to a meeting at work, or walk on the weekend through my neighborhood. Great ideas, Lindsay!