Skip to main content
Sarasota Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019 2 years ago

How to exercise during the holidays

Our columnist shares gift-wrapped "tips" on how to sneak in December workouts.
by: Ryan Kohn Sports Editor

Holidays? More like holi-daze, with all we have to do and the little time we have to do it in, right?

Because we’re in a daze, you see. 

With all there is to do, it can be hard to find time for yourself, and it can be especially hard to turn the little free time you have into something productive, like exercising. That’s why I am bringing you a handful of tips on how to get in exercise while going about your holiday activities.

Jog in place while singing holiday songs.

Embarrassing? Yeah, but less so if you do it in a group. Actually, scratch that. I think if I were in a public park and saw a group of 20 people jogging in place and belting “Silent Night,” I would run as fast as possible in the other direction. That is cult-like behavior. It’s bizarre no matter how you cut it.

Do it in the right setting, though — say, going door to door — and it becomes wholesome. The repetition of jogging for a few minutes, stopping, walking to the next house, then jogging again, will get your heart pumping more than some might think. 

Offer to carry people’s presents for them

Not only will this work your biceps, triceps and all other -ceps, but it’s a nice thing to do. Some people can’t lift the 60-inch televisions they will be purchasing this year. It might not even be that big a present; sometimes, it’s a multitude of little ones. It could be for a friend, a family member or a stranger, from the store to the car. 

Offering to help will give your muscles a workout and lighten the burden weighing down your cold-as-ice conscience. Do it again and again, and all facets of your life will start to feel better. 

Columnist Ryan Kohn hangs ornaments on a small tree. He's dancing, we promise. Photo by Brynn Mechem.

Dance while hanging ornaments

This doesn’t have to be set to holiday music. Blare some Whitney Houston, I don’t care. Just do the pony over to your ornament box, hit the dip while picking one up, do the mashed potato over to your tree, and jump like you’re at a rock concert to hang it as high as you can. Then repeat. As someone who spent high school years in show choir, I can personally vouch for the effectiveness of this one: If, that is, you’re giving it your all. 

Add in a shimmy or two for flair. People love shimmies. Other suggested moves: The underwear slide-in from “Risky Business,” the art of "flossing," the Dougie. Bonus points if you end your performance by sitting in a chair, pulling a level and dousing yourself in a shower of tinsel a la “Flashdance.” 

Speed-walk around a park while making your wish list

No, this isn’t the most strenuous activity on the list, but it for darn sure is the trickiest when it comes to completing the actual holiday activity involved. Ever try writing while walking like your pants are on fire? Not easy! 

Hold wrapping paper races with a friend

This one is fun because it gets competitive AND it helps you get your wrapping done in a timely manner. Make it a game, and pick someone to be the judge. Whoever wraps an acceptably wrapped gift (Read: Just make sure it doesn’t look like it was done by the Tasmanian Devil), with all sides taped down, in the fastest time wins … something. A shot? A dollar? A foot massage? You decide. Repeat until all presents are wrapped or until you simply want to stop. 

Untangle your lights without wanting to give up on life itself

Good health is about more than just your body. Your mind has to feel good too, which is why untangling lights is a great challenge. Every time I try, I end up wanting to stuff them back in the box and kicking said box down a flight of stairs. 

Think positive thoughts through this process. Remember to love yourself. If you can untangle them all — and then make sure they all connect and light up — without throwing in the towel, you can do anything in this life.

Including …

Fight Santa Claus.

Look, I know this is the opposite head space I was just advocating, but the big man has it coming. How dare he demand cookies and milk from every house on the planet? Who does he think he is? Instead, wait until he arrives at your home, and serve him what he deserves: a knuckle sandwich. This is drastic, I admit, but I have always wondered how Claus would do in a brouhaha, and there’s no better time to find out than now. 

Plus, it will get your cardio up, like, a lot. 

Join the Neighborhood! Our 100% local content helps strengthen our communities by delivering news and information that is relevant to our readers. Support independent local journalism by joining the Observer's new membership program — The Newsies — a group of like-minded community citizens, like you. Be a Newsie.

I’m the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. I was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. My biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. My strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

See All Articles by Ryan

Related Stories