The holiday season brings family gatherings, memorable traditions and lots of delicious food. If you’re looking to incorporate more active events and outings this season, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the festivities while getting out of the house and moving.
We’ve collected five simple and fulfilling ways that you can make this holiday season an active one, so get ready to plan for a busy month ahead.
The holiday season is a great time to give back to your community and there are always ample opportunities for volunteering during this time. Your area might have a “giving tree” where children leave their holiday wish lists for volunteers to fulfill. Toys for Tots is another way to help fill children’s stockings with some holiday cheer. Clothing and food drives are popular events to ensure families have the warm clothes and holiday meals they need for winter. Consider volunteering at your local church, community shelter, library or school to make a difference right where you live. If you’re looking for opportunities outside your usual circle, check with national groups such as the YMCA and Meals on Wheels for ongoing projects.
Exercise is important year-round, but the colder weather sometimes makes it hard to take your usual neighborhood walks. Instead of lamenting the cold temperatures, embrace them. Find great local spots to participate in winter sports, including snowshoeing, hiking and skiing. Many outdoor stores rent gear for winter outings, so you don’t have to invest in a pair of snowshoes before you’ve tried the sport. Check apps like AllTrails for local advice regarding the best winter hiking and snowshoeing trails (look for sights like frozen waterfalls and details like well-maintained trails) and ask for senior discounts at ski slopes and official recreation areas.
Stroll to see the sights
Neighborhoods seem to come alive with light and laughter this time of year, so take an evening to stroll through the streets, taking it all in. Not only will you see light displays from individual houses, but you may also come across spontaneous block parties where friends new and old gather around a fire pit sipping hot cider and telling stories. For the most impressive displays, ask around for any neighborhoods that coordinate their decorating. Some even set everything to music. If you’d rather walk when it’s light, look out for the beautiful and clever holiday decorations that aren’t lit up — inflatable snowmen, intricate wreaths and candy cane border stakes, to name a few.
What better way to spread your holiday joy than by joining a caroling group and spreading cheer? Many groups assemble this time of year to tour hospitals, nursing homes and neighborhoods, singing traditional and contemporary seasonal tunes. You don’t have to be a great singer to join, either — the only requirement is that you have fun. Look for groups from local churches to join or ask your friends if they know of a group or want to start one with you. You can get the lyrics to many popular carols from sites like this one.
Putting up a freshly cut Christmas tree or fragrant garland around your home is one tradition that many families enjoy. Instead of heading to a lot with pre-cut trees, take to the hills and cut your own. Most local governments or forest service sites will publish guidelines for legally cutting trees, including the designated locations, size limits and permit instructions. Make sure to pack all the gear you’ll need, including rope, a saw, a first-aid kit and winter clothing. Typically, a handsaw is substantial enough for most trees, but you’ll need a power saw or ax if you’d like something large. If you’re only looking for fresh garland, consider going with a group that would like a tree — you can clip the extra branches from the base to use as a garland or a wreath base. Pack warm cider in a thermos for the ride home!
If you’re looking for active ways to get out and enjoy the season, put these ideas on your list today.
Active Aging is presented by Koelsch Communities.
Koelsch Communities has been family-owned and operated for three generations. Our continued success is compelled by our founding principles as we strive to serve our residents with respect, dignity and compassion, providing the finest living experiences anywhere.