Ahhh, the holidays. We all look forward to family celebrations and parties with friends. You may be getting ready for the annual day of baking Christmas cookies together or your traditional family movie night. But maybe this year you can start a few traditions that will get you and your loved ones moving. Here are a few ideas on how to spend quality, active time with your family this season:

1. Pick a holiday or winter exercise.

Instead of a traditional workout, schedule a family walk to look at holiday decorations around the neighborhood, challenge the kids to a fun snowball fight, or bring out the kid in you (and bring the kids) for some ice skating. Gather the kids in your neighborhood and walk door-to-door caroling. It’s quality family time, extra steps and spreading cheer all rolled into a few fun activities.

2. Give back.

How could you not love the concept of holiday charity runs and walks? There are so many organized races and runs in the winter. Look for your local Reindeer Run and sign up with friends and family. Wear some tiny bells or a Santa hat at the starting line to be especially festive! The energy and crowd is inspiring and motivating.

3. Shop til you drop.

Don’t forget the holiday shopping calorie burn! Make it a family tradition. Park far away from the mall or store and get in some extra steps. Skip the escalators and elevators and go for the stairs, or do bicep curls with your shopping bags while waiting in line. If you wear a pedometer, you may be surprised at how many steps you get in on your power-shopping trip.

4. Start a tree hunt.

Go on a Christmas tree hunt with your family. Visit your favorite Christmas tree farm and as soon as you get out of the car, encourage the kids to scurry about looking for the favorite tree. Oh, and remember to bring a saw!

5. Schedule regular family walks.

Family bonding time meets calorie burn. Pre or post-dinner, walking is a welcome way to spend time with loved ones while enjoying the weather and staying off the couch.

What active holiday tradition will you start with your family this year?

Written by Life Fitness