From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, the holidays offer a pause from everyday life to take part in the joys of the season. For many of us, traditions enhance these joys. Special meals, friendly gatherings, evenings by the fire, or tours of holiday lights may be some of your treasured traditions.

Joyful as they are, holidays can also be a time of high stress, low physical activity, and weight gain — but it doesn’t have to be that way. Remind employees to be especially mindful of their lifestyle habits at this time of year — and make sure you do the same. Encourage workers to walk through the holiday season — to relieve stress, boost fitness, and prevent weight gain — with these tips.

 

Create a New Tradition

A new tradition to consider is walking together. In so many ways, walking can enhance your enjoyment of this much-anticipated season. Pleasurable walks offer time to reconnect with family and friends, unwind from stress, reflect on happy memories, and look forward to the year ahead. Even more, walking can energize your body, help burn extra holiday calories, and revitalize your mind during these often-hectic months.

 

Consider some of these ideas for holiday walks.

  • Thanksgiving. Before or after your Thanksgiving meal is the perfect time for a walk. While the bird is in the oven, celebrate with a turkey trot. You can even make a contest out of it — break into teams and plan a route; the team that finishes in the shortest time wins and the losing team has to clean up the kitchen. Or plan a walk after your meal to give everyone a boost of energy and battle the post-turkey sleepiness.
  • Winter Solstice. The winter solstice is the longest night of the year. Invite family and friends to honor this night, and the longer lighter days ahead, with a celebratory walk. Finish with a bonfire, storytelling, and singing.
  • Hanukkah. The 8 days and 8 nights of Hanukkah set the stage for daily walks. After your candle-lighting ritual, take pleasure in a walk on each of the holiday’s nights.
  • Christmas. On Christmas Eve, walk through local neighborhoods while singing carols. Plan for a Christmas morning hike before or after opening gifts, or enjoy an early supper in anticipation of an evening walk.   
  • Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa is a celebration of family, community, and culture. A ceremonial walk is a wonderful way to commemorate the well-being of those you care about.
  • New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. A walk is a great way to end one year and begin anew. Your New Year’s Eve stroll can offer solace from the hectic season and time to reflect on the previous year’s experiences and accomplishments. Welcoming the New Year with a walk affords a special opportunity to think about personal resolutions and look forward to what lies ahead.

Find More Ways to Walk

Here are more ways to enjoy winter holidays with a walk:

  •     Tour local neighborhoods on foot while viewing decorated homes
  •     Take a break from holiday shopping and briskly walk through the mall or shopping district
  •     Make a day of walking by doing a holiday tour of your city or town
  •     Plan a walking vacation.

Brighten your winter holidays with a few walks to make the most of the season. 

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