Want to get fit as a family this holiday season? Healthy habits start at home.

When parents make physical activity a priority, the entire family prospers. Working toward a common goal, such as getting and staying in shape, provides an opportunity to build stronger bonds, sharpen communication skills, teach the value of accountability and self-discipline, as well as instill lifelong wellness practices that can prevent future health-related issues.

And with childhood and adult obesity rates on the rise, it’s more important than ever to find time for fitness.

If you are interested in becoming more active as a family but don’t know where to start, consider taking advantage of the upcoming school breaks and days off from work. Since so many households enjoy watching holiday movie marathons, this is an easy place to incorporate fitness-inspired games that won’t feel like workouts at all.

Here’s what to do: Turn on any festive film and you will inevitably see Santa Claus, snow, reindeer, and people opening presents, or hear bells ringing. You will use these sights and sounds as cues for when to engage in a given exercise. Each time you see or hear one of the following, perform the corresponding activity:

Cue
Exercise
Repetitions
Santa
Jumping jacks
10
Snow
Stationary boxing squats
10
Bells
Push-ups
5
Reindeer
Mountain climbers
10
Opening presents
Plank high fives
6

Jumping jacks: As you jump, spread your legs shoulder-width apart while briskly moving the arms up above your head. Remember to land lightly on the feet.

Stationary boxing squats: With feet hip-width apart and body weight in your heels, hinge back at your hips and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold this squat pose while you rapidly punch the air with your right arm, followed by your left arm.

Boxing squats
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Boxing squats

Push-ups: Begin in a plank position with your hands aligned beneath your shoulders, spine straight, and hips strong. Keep your elbows tucked close to your ribs as you lower your body toward the floor then push through your hands to lift back up.

Mountain climbers: From a plank position, quickly drive your right knee up toward your chest, then switch legs.

Mountain climber
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Mountain climber

Plank high fives: Two family members will face each other about an arm’s length apart. Start in a plank position, then elevate your right hand to high five the person across from you, then repeat with your left hand.

Partner plank high five.
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Partner plank high five.

By making fitness fun, your entire family can enjoy the priceless gift of good health.

Ashley Blake Greenblatt is a certified personal trainer and wellness coach. To learn more about her virtual training program, visit ashleyblakefitness.com.