5 Ways to Celebrate the Holiday Season (without food!)

Food traditions are an important part of the holiday season for all of us. As part of a healthy diet, you should feel free to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation. But, adding some new active traditions to your holiday celebrations can be a fun way to help curb the urge for seconds (or thirds)! 

Here are 5 great ideas for you and your family try at this year’s gathering:

1) Take a Walk! Weather permitting, you can use the time before or after dinner to get up and get outside. Research shows that walking can help improve cognitive function, strengthen your heart and even lift your mood!

2) Football anyone? I know it evokes a scene from Wedding Crashers, but a game of touch-football is an awesome way to burn some calories and have some fun. Buy some red & green jerseys and make it really festive! 

3) Volunteer– If you have a few hours in the morning, go out and volunteer at a nearby soup kitchen or another charitable organization. I’ve worked with God’s Love We Deliver in the past preparing nutritious meals for those too ill to leave their homes. If you’re in New York City, I know they are always looking for folks to deliver those meals across the five boroughs!

4) Go Ice Skating! Find a nearby ice skating rink and lace up those skates. A lot of cities have seasonal outdoor rinks where you can rent skates on the cheap and enjoy an evening with your kids or significant other whizzing around (or in my case, trying not to fall repeatedly on my bum!)

5) Play a game or build a jigsaw puzzle. This might be a better way to involve the older members of your family. They may not be able to get up to take a walk or play a sport, but playing a board game or building a jigsaw puzzle is a great way to get that food off the table and  interact with each other. Try the classics like Monopoly, Scattergories, or Candyland (if you’re with the kiddies) or even a game of Charades!

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