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10 Solution-focused tips to sneak in movement during the holidays

Gaylord Opryland hotel grounds in Nashville, TN. Tami and her husband sneaked in quite a few steps while walking around the festive holiday hotel grounds.

Three little words: You’ve got this. (Now, get it.) – Anonymous

The holidays can be hectic without a doubt! We find that for many, physical activity takes a back seat to all of the festivities and gatherings. For those who are challenged to fit physical activity into their day, especially during the busy holiday season, we feel empathy because some days it’s a challenge for us too! So that brought us today to share practical tips to “sneak” more movement into the holiday season.

As DCES’s, using solution-focused talk, together, we can help clients/patients identify what activity they like and makes sense to them. By refraining from “all or nothing” thinking, described by Adam Brown in his book Bright Spots and Landmines (we interviewed Adam here), let’s help clients/patients take small steps towards a more active holiday season and acknowledge their success.

10 solution-focused tips to sneak more movement in the holiday season

  1. Wrap holiday gifts, standing at a table or counter, instead of sitting.
  1. While watching a favorite holiday movie, walk in place or on a treadmill, or ride a stationary bike. 
  1. At commercial breaks or between streaming shows, march in place, walk around the house, or do jumping jacks.
  1. When doing holiday cooking or washing dishes, alternate standing on one leg then the other. Mix in a few leg lifts, squats, or push-ups against the kitchen counter.
  1. When writing holiday cards at a table or desk, strengthen your core by sitting on an exercise ball.
  1. While visiting with family or friends, get up every half hour and walk around 2-3 minutes.
  1. On holiday road trips, do leg stretches and ankle rolls every half hour or so. When stopping for bathroom breaks, stand and stretch and walk around the rest stop for 2 or 3 minutes.
  1. Shovel snow! Not only is it purposeful in clearing the sidewalk and driveway for holiday guests arrival, it sneaks in a lot of movement!
  1. When holiday shopping, park in the back of the lot to fit in extra steps. Make an extra lap around the mall.
  1. Turn on holiday tunes and dance around the house!

Sneaking in more movement throughout the day is not only a healthy behavior, it can help cope with holiday stress. After the holidays have passed, reflect with your client/patient on which strategies worked for them. With a solution-focused perspective our focus is on doing more of what works. Maybe they decide to continue incorporating some of these strategies into their day in the new year?

If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

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Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.