It’s November 1 and we all know what that means. It’s baaaaaack. Overnight, the green, red and blue glow of Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hannauka/Kwanza replaced the orange glow of Halloween, and signs offering decorating or light installation service replaced those advertising garage sales.

Happy…Merry! The holiday season is upon us.

As you snitch your favorite out of the Trick-or-Treat candy your kids scored take a minute to think about what this means to your activity routine. Duh, we know well enough what it can mean—layered social commitments, shopping, imbibing, over-indulgence, changes to sleeping and work routines—it means we need to be diligent and strategic about protecting/defending our exercise habit.

True. All the more, you may need to employ the ‘everyday activity, every day’ strategy to chunk activity minutes. If you have a party after work leaving no time for the gym walk the hallways or stairs during the day, park as far away from entrances as possible, and get up from your chair and moves as much as you can; that is if it’s absolutely impossible to get exercise before work. To make the most of the time you do have make sure you have suitable shoes easily available.

BUT if you think about it, the holidays can also be an optimum time to deepen your ‘Footprint. Here’s how:

–Participate in every organized ‘turkey trot’ and ‘jingle bell’ walk/run event possible – many communities hold holiday-themed activity events.
–Take advantage of modified work schedules to engage in activity at unusual times – mid-day at the gym if you have a ½ day off.
–Exchange activity-related gifts – sport lessons, equipment rental vouchers
–Volunteer to work youth holiday sports camps – tag along with your kids and help deliver the program

By playing both offense and defense with activity – proactively seeking new, unique engagement opportunities and chunking ‘everyday activity’ minutes the days your schedule is slammed – you will protect your wellness AND avoid the risky rationalization of conceding to just restart your routine January 1, which just adds more pressure to the already emotionally-charged meaning of January 1. With a solid, grooved routine, you can focus New Year’s resolutions on other areas of your life.

So, let me be the first to wish you Happy…Merry!