Taking an 'athleisurely' approach to the holiday season


Man rushing through airport

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As I begin to hear the excuses at the start of the holiday season, I realize that I have to get creative about encouraging workout regiments and healthy eating. This is the hardest time of the year for dietitians and fitness professionals. We have to help our clients stay active, focused and healthy during this season of temptation.

I’m always looking for creative ways to stay active. I love working out and exercising in an unconventional way. I’ve realized this makes me a huge fan of athleisure. Yep, you heard right. It’s not just a word I made up. It means a cross between athletic and leisure pursuits. You can even dress athleisurely while you're doing it — something I’ve fully embraced!

If this holiday season leaves you no time to hit up the gym or a boutique fitness class, embrace the time you have by engaging in one of these athleisure exercise activities. Here is a list of ideas on how to create your own athleisure exercise-experience, along with matching athleisure apparel suggestions.


1. Airport walking

As you head to your gate, take advantage of the opportunity to walk. Instead of riding the escalator, take the stairs. Also, try to avoid the moving walkway and walk alongside it instead. It’s a great way to wake up your legs and get the blood flowing.

What to wear: I’ve always loved the Chaturanga tights from Athleta. They are extremely comfortable and trendy. I find them appropriate for any kind of travel adventure.


2. Picking a Christmas tree

Once you head to the tree yard to snag a family favorite, lugging it home is quite the challenge — especially if you opt out of delivery and happen to live in a walkup building.

What to wear: I’m super picky about shoes and I happen to love the Reebok Skyscapes. They are extremely light, not to mention colorfully festive for the holiday season. You can wear them for pretty much any activity.


3. Holiday shopping

Venturing from store to store adds up if you’re buying a bunch of gifts. If you plan wisely and they happen to be smaller in size (e.g., wallets, wine accessories, kitchen gadgets, candles or spa items) you’ll definitely be carrying a good 5-8 pounds.

What to take: A lightweight tote! Carrying a trendy bag can actually be detrimental because of the weight of the bag alone. Instead, use a lightweight version like the Under Armour Gotta Have it Bag. The cross-body option allows for even weight distribution.


4. Decorating the house or apartment

Setting up the Christmas tree, putting up the stockings, putting up lights outside of your house and wrapping gifts all require work. I always get a good leg workout with all the bending and squatting. As an added bonus, pull in your core.

What to wear: Leggings! If you want get snazzy, check out Alo Yoga’s leggings line — so many fun prints and colors to choose from and you’ll definitely be comfortable during all that manual labor. Throw a fun sweater on top and make yourself comfortable.


5. Dancing the night away

Most holiday parties end up in some kind of dancing. Get moving as soon as you feel the groove. Throw in some side lunges or limbo-like moves while tightening your core. You may be judged but at least you’re getting a workout!

What to wear: Tights! I find tights to be a little body hugging and uncomfortable at times so check out Vimmia Active’s black Jacquard leggings that you could totally wear under a dress or skirt. And thanks to their fun texture, no one in the crowd will think you’re sporting an athletic pair.