This season, your calendar’s overflowing with festive fun, from cocktail parties to cookie swaps to wining and dining on the town. Although you fully intend to jingle all the way to your holiday gatherings, the calories can add up—and fast. That’s where we come in with fun ways to burn holiday calories without trying, according to an expert. (Because let’s be honest: You may not be ready to return to the gym just yet!)
Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, is a fitness expert and the founder of GroomBuilder who shares five of his top-recommended ways to make the most of this merry time of year while torching some serious calories. Some require you to bundle up in your warmest snow gear and head outdoors, while others are really sneaky ways that’ll get you active and feeling festive.
These winter activities don’t require a ton of effort on your part, so let’s get started! Keep reading to learn more about Yeung’s five fun ways to burn holiday calories. And next, don’t miss 6 Ways To Indulge and Still Avoid Weight Gain This Holiday Season.
Visit holiday decorations, light displays, and festive events.
This one’s a foolproof way to get in some cardio while also enjoying the merriest sights of the season. As Yeung puts it, “Spending a few hours walking around and enjoying all of the festivities is an incredibly easy way to burn a lot of extra calories.”
According to Harvard Health Publishing, walking for one mile can burn an estimated 100 calories. (Note that this number ultimately depends on your weight and the pace you’re walking.) If you opt for a 30-minute brisk walk—aka four miles per hour—five days a week, you’ll tally up 10 miles walked in a week’s time. So you’ll end up losing one pound in three and a half weeks, assuming you consume a consistent number of calories.
Lace up your sneakers, and keep this all in mind when planning out the holiday decor, light displays, and festive events you want to check out this season. The faster and more frequently you walk, the more calories you’ll torch!
Do some winter snow sports.
“When I used to live in Colorado, no one ever said that they went skiing to burn calories, yet it’s a perfect way to get some great cardio, work your lower body and core, and have a blast,” Yeung says.
So pick your poison. There are plenty of awesome wintertime snow sports you can get involved in with friends or solo. For instance, according to Pure Michigan, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing can burn around 472 calories every hour, and downhill skiing torches about 354 calories in an hour. If ice skating is more your thing, lace up your skates, and expect to burn 419 calories in one hour’s time. Just be sure to bundle up from head to toe in your warmest winter gear to stay warm and avoid frostbite.
Go holiday shopping.
This is another fun way to get in a solid dose of cardio (while also exercising your credit card, because ’tis the season). “Walking around the shopping mall all day helps you burn some extra calories,” Yeung says, adding, “Take it to the next level by parking your car further away, carrying your bags instead of using a cart, using the stairs instead of taking the elevator, and more.”
Have a snowball fight.
Get ready to run, jump, and toss, because it’s time for some good old-fashioned seasonal fun that’ll make you incredibly nostalgic: a snowball fight! Whether you round up your friend group or family members, it’s the time of year to head outdoors and toss around some snowballs.
“Running around in the snow, throwing snowballs at each other, and showing off your agility and speed is such an easy way to work off the calories and get some exercise,” Yeung says.
Make a snowman.
Building a snowman most definitely counts as a form of exercise, so bundle yourself up for this last one, and get ready to burn holiday calories. Yeung says that this wintertime activity will boost your physical fitness and help you melt away calories from those extra few gingerbread cookies you indulged in. So take a cue from Frozen, and get to building that snowman!