Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Christmas Cookie Challenge

I was swimming laps this morning when I realized that I was alone in the pool.  The Aqua Aerobics class had ended and they were headed for the shower and I was the lone swimmer in the pool.  This had never happened to me before!  Then on my way out I realized that there were more empty parking spaces than usual and I got to thinking about the season.  People are busier, the stores are busier and we're starting to put our workouts on the back burner.  The magazines at the grocery store have desserts on the cover.  We're all preparing for the time of overindulgence.

So, how can we keep ourselves and our families on track during this season?  Here are a few tips we're trying around here...

1. Add 10 minutes.  Add just 10 more minutes of exercise to your day.  Tack it on to the end of your regular run or go for a walk after dinner.  Just 10 extra minutes a day adds up to over an hour each week! This can go a long way in working off those cookies you just scarfed down!

2. Sign up for an event.  I already told you about our family's Turkey Trot tradition.  We're also going to the Snowflake 5K in December.  Signing up for an event keeps us training on days when we'd rather eat cookies.

3. Practice a little moderation.  I'm not about to skip cookies.  There are some that my mom only makes at this time of year. (This is probably a good thing since I love them so much)  But, I try not to take a whole container home with me.  I know my limits.  So, I enjoy them when I'm at mom's house and work towards healthy eating 80% of the time.  Full disclosure- I have actually visited my mom specifically so that I can eat her cookies.  Pathetic, I know.

4. Plan family meals. Everything else is on your calendar, right?  Plan your meals ahead of time.  You'll be less likely to eat a whole plate of cookies for dinner.

5.  Get outside & act like a kid! Listen, I live in an area of the country that is known for snow & cold.  We get outside all the time, so no excuses!  Take some time away from shopping and ride a sled, go snowshoeing, try skiing or just make a snow angel!  You can have cookies after that.  

Did you notice a theme here?  I'm a little cookie-obsessed around the holidays!

That's why we're starting The Christmas Cookie Challenge.  Here's what we're going to do:  Commit yourself (and as many family members as possible) to exercising every day from now through Christmas Eve.  If you already moved today, that's Day One!  If you get to December 24th, that will be a 40-Day Streak!  Imagine how many Christmas Cookies you will have burned off!  

How do you join us?  Just post a comment and tell us that you're moving!
How much exercise counts?  You decide!  My minimum is 30 mins.  If you're not currently exercising, you might want to start with 15 minutes a day and then add more later.  The important thing is to make time for exercise.
What kind of exercise?  Who cares? Just move! But seriously, running errands is not the same thing as running.  Get moving for real!
What will you get? Besides the benefits of moving, (do I really have to explain them all?) I'm going to give you a few cookie recipes!  Actually, I'm going to steal them from my mom and then give them to you. Whatever- we all get cookies.

Are you in?  Did you move today?
What's your favorite cookie?

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