Holiday Challenge Week 2

— Written By N.C. Cooperative Extension

Shorter daylight hours and busier days may make you wonder how you will fit physical activity in during the holidays. Your key to survival during the holiday season: a plan and a schedule.

The most important thing you can do is pencil in time on your calendar for physical activity and make it part of your daily schedule. The minimum recommended amount for adults is 150 minutes each week of moderate intensity activity. That means any activity that gets your heart pumping and makes you breathe faster.

You can stick with your plan to get physical activity during the holiday season if you set yourself up for success. Think through your daily schedule and create a list of strategies that will help remind you to be active such as packing a bag with your walking shoes and comfortable clothes the night before and always having athletic shoes in the car to take a longer walk at the mall will help you stick to your plan. 

Just as it is important to have a plan, it’s equally as important to know that sometimes life happens and things can get in the way of plan A. Let’s be honest. Things will come up unexpectedly at work, at home and in life that will put a speed bump in your schedule. It is important to be realistic when thinking about your holiday schedule and have plan B at the ready.

Brainstorm a list of options for when plan A isn’t possible. For example, let’s say you find out in the morning that you will be staying late at work so your back up plan is to take a 15 minute brisk walk during your lunch break. Remember, you can accumulate activity 10 consecutive minutes at a time.

With a little planning and creativity you can make it through the holiday season with a spring in your step. For more information or to join the Eat Smart, Move More…Maintain, don’t gain! Holiday Challenge, visit

Eleanor Summers
Extension Agent
Family & Consumer Sciences