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Add Walking to Your Family Holiday Fun

Burn Calories and Spend Time Together


Updated August 29, 2013

Bear Family Walks Together

Bear Family Walks Together

Wendy Bumgardner ©
Energize your holidays by adding family walking time to your celebrations.

Burn Off the Feasting Calories

Adding walking time before or after your holiday feast will help your body to burn calories more efficiently. While it will be difficult to walk far enough to completely erase all of the extra calories, it is a big improvement over snoozing on the couch. Even Santa Claus needs to walk more.

Talking and Walking

The biggest benefit of a holiday walk is spending time with your family in an activity that lends itself to easy conversation. Rather than staring at each other across the table wondering what to say, you are out seeing the Christmas light displays and noting what the neighbors are up to. It is easy to fall into non-stressful conversations while walking. You have time to get to know relatives you see only rarely, or connect better with ones you thought you knew all too well.

Christmas Light Walks

In addition to walking before and after the major holiday celebrations, invite family members out to walk around and enjoy the Christmas lights in your area. Look up the best neighborhoods to visit and plan a walk. Check the AVA walking calendar for night walks in your area, as their clubs often plan routes of 3 to 6 miles to enjoy the Christmas lights. Walk Finder

Mall Walking

If the weather in your area makes outdoors walking too treacherous, plan a trip to a local mall before the stores open. You will be able to walk and enjoy their decorations without the crowds. You can also target any last-minute shopping for when the stores open. You will find many other walkers also enjoying the safety and comfort of mall walking.

Dressing for Winter Walking

If you are a walker, you probably know how to layer your clothing for winter walking. But you may need to coach your family members who aren't as familiar with the right things to wear.
How to Dress for Cold Weather Walking

How to Get Them to Walk?

If your family has never walked as part of their holiday traditions, you face a challenge in motivating them to get out the door. Prepare a list of suggestions. A short neighborhood walk? An outing to Christmas light displays? A break from the cooking and preparations to walk in the mall? Start dropping hints and invitations early in the season and see what ideas get interest.

If there is a dog in the family, you can use the need to walk the dog to invite others to join you.

Your Tips on Getting Your Family to Walk

Tell us how you have been successful in adding walking to your family holiday celebrations.

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