Holiday Challenge Week 3

— Written By N.C. Cooperative Extension

If you’re headed out of town for the holidays it usually means time to kick back, relax, and enjoy platefuls of delicious treats. You may ask, is there any time for physical activity with travel plans and relatives to visit? 

Holiday travel plans don’t have to spoil your Holiday Challenge goals. Even when on the road you can still get the activity you need to maintain your weight. All you need to do is plan time in your travel schedule. Use these tips to get you started:

Stop waiting and trade sitting time for activity time; Rather than sitting or standing still to wait for a plane, train or bus, take a walk up and down the terminal. Be sure to walk at a fast pace and make a few laps to get your heart pumping. Small steps really do add up – when you move at a fast pace for at least ten minutes at a time, it counts toward the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity you need each week to be healthy. 

A journey on the highway doesn’t have to put a damper on your regularly scheduled activity time. When road-tripping, schedule a stop ever one to two hours. When you stop, stretch and take (at least) a 10-minute brisk walk before getting back in your car. 

Many hotels have fitness rooms and DVDs available to guests. Call ahead or ask at the desk where you are staying to see if these options are available to you. Also be sure to ask about safe local walking, hiking and biking trails. Make sure to pack a variety of activity clothes for different types of weather and activities.

Explore the area by walking, hiking and biking with the friends or relatives you are visiting. Who knows – they may even discover a new part of town they had never visited before! Start a new family tradition by taking a walk after holiday meals together. A family that plays together, stays together.

Pushups, lunges and squats are activities you can do in the privacy of your room whether you are staying with friends, relatives or at a hotel. If space permits, center yourself with yoga or Tai Chi. Resistance bands are lightweight and pack easily. Stash one or two in your bag to sneak muscle strengthening activities into your trip. 

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