Seven Ways To Fit Exercise Into Your Busy Holiday Season

Fit Exercise Into Your Busy Holiday Season

The holiday season is in full swing and with it comes extra activities that can fill up your calendar and interrupt your normal exercise routine.  I’m someone that craves exercise daily because it helps me feel energized, creative, and positive.  If I take too much time off from some form of physical activity then I start to feel kind of blah.  Our bodies like to move!

Different seasons can require us to reprioritize how we are going to spend our precious time.  I believe it’s important to be flexible and to allow yourself to skip a workout during the holiday season without feeling guilty about it.  Creating beautiful memories that you can hold onto forever is just as important to your overall health and wellness as exercise. Time is something we can never get back.

If you find yourself short on time and needing to skip your normal exercise routine, here are  a few clever ways you can get your body moving during the holiday season.


Seven Easy Ways to Exercise During the Holidays

1)  Shopping.  Walking while you shop is a great way to exercise during the holidays. To get the most out of a shopping trip, try taking breaks and bringing your packages back to the car in between stores.  Shop your main streets while supporting the small businesses or take several trips walking around your local mall.

2)  Baking. Standing burns more calories than sitting, so working in the kitchen counts.  Turn on some fun music and get a little dancing in while you’re at it.

3)  Deck the halls. Hauling boxes out of storage and putting up decorations indoors and outdoors is a great way to get festive while logging your exercise minutes for the day.

4)  Cleaning.  Cleaning house counts as lifestyle exercise. Turn on some of your favorite holiday music and keep a steady pace going to maximize your caloric burn. Just don’t forget to take water breaks.

5)  Get some fresh air. Step outside and go for a walk.  Even if it’s just a short one.

Invite family and friends to join you for outdoor activities. This will help you combine family and/or social time with exercise. Don’t be afraid to go solo if you don’t have any takers. Recreation alone can be used as relaxing time you spend on your own.

6)  Take advantage of seasonal weather.  Fun in the snow isn’t just for down hill skiers. Snow shoeing, cross country skiing, walking, sledding, ice skating, and hiking, are all examples of ways you can have fun in the snow while getting your exercise.

7)  Your mother was right.  Seriously, standing up straight burns more calories than slouching. For an extra workout try keeping your stomach muscles tight while standing. Take advantage of moments like waiting in line or standing at a cocktail party to work those stomach muscles.

This holiday season I recommend you take the pressure off of yourself to “do it all” and focus on having fun and staying healthy. Shoot for 20- 30 minutes of exercise per day total. Every minute and all types of exercise counts at the end of the week. Studies have actually shown that people that took 3 ten minute walks per day showed an improvement in blood pressure because they were moving more often throughout the day.

The more you move throughout the day, the more you benefit. Do your best to take advantage of every opportunity you get to move your body. Whether it’s part of a formal exercise routine, or something like shoveling snow in your front driveway.

Here’s to a happy and healthy holiday season!

Shared with love,



How Walking A Dog Can Help You With Your Weight Loss Goals

My Sweet Tina - Dogs Can Teach Us About What Matters Most - Walking A Dog For Weight Loss Works

Years ago I had a strong desire to leave the gym and knew that many of my clients wanted other options as well. However, it was an article in Vogue magazine that really inspired me to take action. The article highlighted several Hollywood celebrities that had decided to take their exercise outdoors and leave the gym behind.

Since staying in shape was their business, I was intrigued. Drew Barrymore shared how she had switched from going to the gym to hiking in the hills with her dogs. So, I left the gym and started walking my dogs daily for the majority of my exercise and I’ve been teaching clients how to exercise outside of the gym ever since!

Since I have successfully lost weight and maintained it for years walking my dogs daily, I got really excited when I came across this University of Missouri-Columbia study.


The study showed that walking a dog 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week produced an average weight loss of 14 pounds for participants.

Study participants were people who were not regular walkers. They began by walking loaner dogs 10 minutes per day, three times each week. Eventually, the participants walked up to 20 minutes per day, five times each week. Those who followed this program for 50 weeks lost an average of 14 pounds.

The ones who walked only 26 weeks didn’t see much weight loss. “Even though we didn’t see a significant amount of weight loss in the group that walked for a shorter period of time, by the end of the study, all the participants were walking for longer periods of time and walking for daily errands instead of using some other type of transportation,” said researcher Rebecca Johnson in a press release.


“Many of the participants reported that they didn’t necessarily walk in the study because they knew it was good for their health; they enjoyed walking because they knew it was good for the animals,” said Johnson in the press release.

I’ve been a personal trainer for over 22 years. From my experience, most people need a “reason” to exercise. Doing it just because it’s good for you is usually not enough. Walking the dog gives the activity a purpose. Being around animals is also relaxing. On the days I feel like skipping our walk, all I have to do is take one look at my dogs and even a short walk is going to happen. Let’s face it, we tend to take better care of ourselves when another life depends on us.


1) Always eager to go. Humans can make excuses due to weather, lack of sleep, or too many other priorities.

2) Always on time. Your furry friend will not make you wait.

3) Allows time away from chatter.  Being with a dog allows you to unplug from electronics and every day stimulation. It’s a great time for meditation and fresh ideas. You won’t be scrolling through your smartphone because you are paying attention to your dog.

4) See the world through your dog’s eyes.  Dogs stop to smell the grass.  They are fascinated with nature.  My dogs inspire me to truly soak in the great outdoors.


Walking with a dog can often be more of a stroll, and this study used participants who were new to walking for exercise. That’s great news. The good results seen for those who stuck with the program for a year proves that simple regular walking for weight control and lifestyle change works.

Beyond the 20 minutes they spent walking, researchers reported that they began adding more activity into their lives. The additional activity beyond the 20 minutes of dog walking is probably a large factor in their continued weight loss. Some even adopted dogs themselves or began volunteering to walk dogs at the local dog shelter.

The results from this study are very encouraging.  They help prove that consistency and focusing on one healthy habit eventually lead to more. The most important thing to note here is that the participants had a purpose that helped keep them from giving up.  Staying consistent is key when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off for good.

It’s no secret I love dogs.  We have four.  However, I realize that not everyone wants to own a dog or is in a position to do so.  If you think you’d enjoy walking a dog, consider volunteering to be a dog walker at your local animal shelter.  Walking shelter dogs helps keep them from getting anxious or out of shape while they are waiting for their new forever home.  It’s a wonderful community service.

If you are thinking about getting a dog please consider adopting. is a great place to find a loving dog that needs a home.

Whether you have your own canine or not, I would encourage you to have a purpose to exercise. Mowing your yard, playing team sports, walking your kids to school, and working out to remain strong enough to do the things you enjoy are all examples of purpose-driven exercise. Having a reason to exercise makes it more meaningful and you’ll be more likely to stick to it.

Have a personal dog walking story or “reason” you exercise you’d like to share? Please leave me a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!

Here’s to wagging tails and fit humans!

Celebrate This Fourth of July Without The Extra Calories!


This year my dog (Dillon) and I will be marching in our local parade on the Fourth of July. I am super excited to be part of the celebration honoring the birth of our country and the people who fought for our freedom.

I do have a confession to make!

There’s another personal reason I agreed to do it. I wanted the exercise! What a fun way to get my workout in for the morning. It’s always great to find fun ways of exercising so it never feels like a chore.

One of my tricks to weight management without dieting is to get exercise on days I will be indulging.  I don’t use this method only on the Fourth of July — I practice this principle all summer long! For more tips on how to lose weight while enjoying your summer, read Tips for Your Summer Weight Loss Plan.

It is totally possible for you to have fun and avoid the extra calories this year!

1) Exercise! If you are walking in your local parade, this is a great way to get exercise. Committing to an event will help keep you on track when you might be tempted to “blow off” exercise.

You don’t have to be in a parade to get exercise on the fourth! You and your family and/or group could walk or hike before all of the grilling starts. Try calling to set it up in advance. If it’s too tough to fit in — plan fun, active games. This will also prevent the mindless snacking that can occur while visiting.

2)  Go Light! Having a potluck? Bring the lighter version of your traditional dish. Something as simple as substituting regular mayonnaise with the light version can cut back significantly on calories! Google is great for helping you find the lighter fare without compromising taste. Ask other friends if they want to bring light dishes as well. If appropriate, why not make “cooking light” the theme?

Choose leaner meats for the barbecue. A Kielbasa sausage has 330 calories. That doesn’t include the bun! Substitute with a chicken sausage that has 170 calories.

3)  Make calorie conscious choices! Limit foods like chips and dip. Nine chips and two tablespoons of dip is usually a serving and can have 200 calories easy! Load up on fruits, veggies, and green salad. Take smaller “taste size” portions of the heavier dishes like potato salad. This allows you to keep from feeling deprived and stay on target with your weight loss/management goals.

Substitute sparkling water or plain iced tea for sweet tea, energy drinks, and soda. Wine and beer have a lot less calories than blended “umbrella” drinks. If you plan on drinking some of your calories, you may want to skip dessert or vice versa.

Make a plan before the party starts. For example if the tea is sweet, I”ll choose water.

4)  It’s only one day!  You have to really pig out to gain weight in one day. However, the fourth can set the tone for the rest of the week and even the summer. If you overdo it, get right back on your normal eating and exercise plan the following day!

These tips will help you have fun without gaining weight! If you have a great tip you want to share or have a question, please leave a comment below!

Have a super fun and safe Fourth of July!

Blessings to you and your family!