This season, toss the “but it’s the holidays” excuse and join us as we move more, eat smart, and create healthy new traditions — together!
This time of year can be a whirlwind of get-togethers, shopping, planning, and indulging in your favorite annual treats. Amid all that, it can be easy to put self-care last on your to-do list. But keeping up with your fitness and health strategies can actually help you enjoy the season even more.
“Making time to exercise, eat better, and be more mindful can help you sleep better, have more energy, and even put you in the right mood for all of the holiday fun,” says SilverSneakers LIVE trainer Shannon Thigpen.
“Plus, it can be easy and fun to create new holiday traditions that give you time for yourself, while still catching up with friends and family,” Shannon adds.
That’s where our Healthy Holidays Challenge comes in.
How the Healthy Holidays Challenge Works
For the next four weeks, we’ll be unwrapping our best tips for staying healthy, happy, and, yes, even calm during this busy time of year.
The challenge is open to everyone, including SilverSneakers members and non-members. (Not sure if health plan includes SilverSneakers? You can check your eligibility here.) Follow along here on the SilverSneakers blog and our Facebook page to see the latest challenge activities.
Here’s a peek at what’s to come:
- New workouts created by Shannon to hike feel-good endorphins
- Simple mindfulness strategies that you can tap into anytime, anywhere
- Ideas to keep gym sessions exciting (even on those dark mornings!)
- Healthy eating strategies that allow for all your holiday favorites
- Practical ways to set (and uphold) boundaries with friends and family
- Ideas to get ahead of the winter blues
- And more!
Ready to get started? Here’s your first challenge activity:
Start Here: Commit to a Holiday Season Fitness Streak
The concept of a fitness streak is simple: “From now until New Year’s Eve, do at least 10 minutes of any kind of physical activity every day,” says Shannon. That will get you on your way to meeting the 150-minutes of weekly exercise that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends for older adults.
- Attend a SilverSneakers class at your participating gym or other Community location
- RSVP to one of our 20+ SilverSneakers LIVE classes — there are several express classes that pack a punch in just 15 short minutes! (View the current schedule here.)
- Take a brisk walk after meals
- Do some strength exercises during TV commercial breaks. (Here’s a quick 10-minute home routine to try.)
- Start and end your day with some gentle stretches. (Here are 10 you can do while seated.)
As always, safety is key. Talk to your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. If you have a chronic condition, an injury, or balance issues, ask them about how you can exercise safely.
To make your fitness streak even more fun, Shannon encourages you to invite friends and family to join you. In fact, why not commit to Shannon’s bonus challenge?
Bonus Challenge: Give the Gift of Fitness This Year
“Invite your family and friends to join you in committing to a healthy holiday season,” says Shannon.
Instead of a gift exchange with friends, for example, you can suggest attending a SilverSneakers class together, she suggests.
“Or you can power walk or head to the bowling alley with your kids or grandkids instead of settling on the couch for a holiday movie,” she adds. “Most of all, keep in mind that staying active can be a fun new tradition — and it’s one you can share with everyone.”
Keep up with the Healthy Holidays Challenge
The beauty of our holiday challenge is that you can jump in at any time! Bookmark this page so you can easily find the daily activities as they are added:
Make a Plan to Stay Active
10-Minute Cardio & Core Power Combo Workout
Morning Stretch Routine You Can Do in Bed
Feel Calm in Minutes
10-Minute Total Body Strength Workout to Boost Your Mood
12 Ways to Make Thanksgiving Dinner Healthier (That No One Will Notice)
4 Seated Strength Exercises You Can Do Anywhere
5 Simple Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
Harness the Power of Mindful Breathing
10-Minute Chair Yoga Flow to Recharge
3-Minute Midday Meditation
Stay Healthy, Stress Less, and Have Fun
Easy Exercises to Power Up Your Day
Try a Guided Walking Meditation
Get Ahead of Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka the “Winter Blues”)
5 Ways to Deal With Negative People Without Hurting Your Relationships or Your Mental Health
5 Ways to Deal With Loneliness During the Holidays
Check Your SilverSneakers Eligibility Instantly
SilverSneakers members can go to thousands of gyms and fitness locations across the nation, plus take SilverSneakers LIVE online classes that are designed for seniors of all levels. If you have a Medicare plan, it may include SilverSneakers—at no additional cost. Check your eligibility instantly here.
Not eligible for SilverSneakers? You can still get 200+ free SilverSneakers On-Demand videos and stay in touch with us by creating your online account.