Calories. I don’t count calories. I don’t care about calories. In fact, the word “calories” brings about a shudder and a mental image of an 80’s aerobics video. This is probably due to the fact that I’m from the somewhat obsessive ilk that tend to go overboard when faced with the idea of counting something. After all, it’s not about how many calories you burn while exercising; it’s about the intensity! So, instead of writing about how you could burn off holiday calories with holiday activities, I decided to see how these holiday activities stack up against some of the less effective gym exercises.
1) Building a SNOWMAN vs. the Recumbent BIKE
Unless you have an injury or disability that prevents you from engaging in vigorous exercise, the recumbent bike should stay off your radar. It does very little for you in terms of exercise intensity. Building a snowman, on the other hand, includes squatting, lunging, lifting and trudging through snow – you’ll likely work up more of a sweat!
2) CHOPPING Firewood vs. high-rep, light weight “SCULPTING” exercises
If you’ve never chopped wood before, do it! It involves a great amount of cardio and core work. If you’re looking to burn off some energy, opt for woodchopping as opposed to 25 repetitions of bicep curls with a 3lbs dumbbell. (Please have someone show you how to chop firewood before you start hacking away.)
3) PLAYING with the Kids vs. the ELLIPTICAL Trainer
Don’t get me wrong – I used to be a total elliptical junkie! It did very little for my overall fitness and body composition. If you’re not going to make it count and go hard, skip the elliptical today and take your nieces and nephews outside to play! You’ll have fun and get a whole body workout at the same time!
4) Holiday Gift SHOPPING vs. Walking on the TREADMILL
The seasoned shopper will understand this: shopping during the holidays can be a workout! Not only are you lugging around bags of gifts, but you generally take quite a pace to ensure all your to do’s get done. If you’ve ever watching someone walk on the treadmill at the gym, it looks more like a tired stroll. Unless you’re going to pick up the pace on the treadmill with some sprints, you’re better off going shopping!
This holiday season, don’t feel bad about skipping the gym on occasion. Enjoy the activities that only come around once a year! However, if you do make it to the gym, please crank up the intensity with a good HIIT session or some heavy weight lifting. Regardless of how faithful you are to the gym this holiday season, we will welcome you with open arms come January 2nd! 🙂