Yes, it is possible to maintain an active routine during the festive season, despite having to rush around to visit family and friends. In addition, check out the following tips for other little things you can do to keep in shape.

Pre-Season Physical Activity

Cleaning the house in preparation for the New Year can be a good form of exercise.  

Get ready for the New Year by getting fit. A higher metabolic rate will help fend off some of the extra calories that are bound to tempt you. Your immune system will get a boost, too. Nobody wants to be ill over the New Year—that wouldn’t be auspicious!

Make use of the weeks before Chinese New Year to kick-start your fitness by trying out different activities. Besides putting you on the road to better health, it will also help you decide on an activity you feel happy to engage in regularly. Be it jogging, kickboxing or yoga, develop a regular exercise routine so that it will be easier to keep going during the holiday.

Don’t know where to start? How about trying a fitness class at one of HPB’s MOVE IT Workout Programmes which includes various types of physical activity, such as aerobic, strength, balance, and flexibility. From Active Family, Quick HIIT and Sunrise In The City, to Sundays @ the Park and many more, these free programmes are available island-wide throughout the week. If you’ve never heard of Bokwa Fitness or Piloxing, or if you’ve always wanted to pick up some Yoga or K-pop moves, the action’s just around the corner.

Chinese New Year preparations invariably involve spring-cleaning. Rather than face the deed with dread, make housework part of your exercise regime! Work up a sweat vacuuming and mopping; tone your arms and legs with all that scrubbing, polishing of windows, beating of rugs and shifting of furniture. Blast some dance music on the radio, and incorporate some Zumba or bhangra moves as you clean. You’d be surprised to find how dusters and mops make fun dance partners.

Related: How to Survive Chinese New Year Feasts

Step It Up

Make it your goal to move often throughout the day and break up prolonged sedentary periods with any level of physical activity. It is easier than you think when all these activities add up, especially at a time when outings to the market become more frequent, and many venues host festive fairs. So much to see, so much to do… best of all, having to move often gives you an incentive to trawl the malls more, for that perfect Chinese New Year outfit!

 Here are a couple of links to inspire your next step: 

Devise a Plan to Exercise

Make a conscious effort to carve out time for exercise during the holiday, plan ahead for what you want to do, and when. This may mean waking up half an hour earlier for some yoga or squeezing in a jog before the family dinner on busy days.

Half the battle is won when you schedule exercise into your calendar. Seeing it written down as something that needs to be done will help strengthen your fitness resolution. Your workout might even turn out to be some “me-time” to look forward to as a break from all the relatives!

Visiting Days

Ensure that you are setting aside enough time for some exercise  

Once the festivities start, it’s not all about munching your way from house to house. As far as possible, try to keep to your planned exercise schedule. However, if you’ve had to skip your morning jog, here are some tips on making it up:

  • Park further away from your destination, so that you can walk more while visiting. This also gives you a chance to show off your fancy new threads to an admiring public.
  • Take the stairs instead of the lift to burn away some calories from that piece of Bak Kwa (pork jerky). When you arrive at your host’s newly renovated apartment, you can claim to be breathless with admiration.
  • Stand up when you greet people and help serve drinks and titbits. This marks you as having lovely manners, will make your elders happy, and you’ll burn more calories than if you were sitting. Give up your seat if there is a crowd or initiate some games to break the ice and keep everyone active. Try to mingle more with other guests—the idea is to keep moving.
  • Excuse yourself from the mahjong table to take a mid-session walk around the block with your cousins. A walk provides a nice, informal way of catching up with family news, and might even inspire more sporting activities as a family.

Related: Healthy Christmas and Chinese New Year Food

Put Free Time at Home to Use

Make time to exercise and burn some calories  

Now that you’re done facing your extended family’s inquiries, you can relax—but not too much. Don’t give those love letters a chance to turn into love handles!

  • If you can’t resist what’s on TV, don’t just slouch in front of it. Get moving with crunches, leg raises, calf raises. Lift weights. If you have any home gym equipment, TV-time is perfect for jumping on that stationary bike or stepper.
  • Take a turn as a trainer! There’s no reason why you should keep good fitness habits for yourself. Get the rest of the family in shape, too, by showing them some of your favourite exercise moves. Even the seniors should get in on the act—share these Seven Easy Exercises with them as a start.
  • Stay off the snacks. Think how just two pineapple tarts (40g) load you with 164 calories and 12g of sugar. A single slice of Bak Kwa holds 229 calories and 24.5g of sugar, and a couple of love letters contain 112 calories and 9.9g of sugar within their wafer-thin folds. If you are easily tempted by the goodies on the table, ask someone else to put them away and bring them out only when visitors come. Stick to plain water instead of sweetened drinks, too.
  • Get out of the house: jog, brisk walk or cycle. We know you ate those pineapple tarts anyway!

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