Inspiration to keep moving over the festive period.


The festive season can be a busy and stressful time for some, but it is still possible to weave in time to keep moving, without having to find time for a gym session.  In this month’s blog I wanted to share some fun, festive ideas of how you can keep moving with friends and family, whilst still enjoying the festive cheer.  Remember all movement is good movement and the festive break is the time to eat drink and be merry. I hope these ideas make you smile and give you some food for thought.

Festive Treasure Hunt

This is a really fun Christmas Eve or Boxing Day activity, encouraging movement for both the person that sets the treasure hunt, as they need to lay out the clues and the participants. The treasure hunt can cover a good distance and take as long or as little time as you want. Clues should lead your friends and family all over your town or local area, it is a great way to get your grey matter firing, get your step-count up while having lots of fun and fresh air at the same time.

Christmas Light Walks

Each year I go with my best friend and her family on several twilight walks around my local area, with the sole purpose of looking at everyone’s Christmas lights. There is a particular residential street in Windsor that do an amazing job, the whole street is decorated, and they raise money for a local children’s hospice. You could also go a bit further afield into London and walk the streets, of places such as: Covent Garden, Carnaby Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street.

Run or jog/walk a Santa dash

These are usually a 5-km run or jog dressed as Santa, looking silly, having fun whilst at the same time raising money for a charity.  They have become very popular over recent years and we have two local ones close to Windsor to choose from for Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice and Thames Hospice.

If you do decide to sign up to one of these, as someone who has done a couple of these over the last few years, here are a couple of things to remember:

  • Take scissors with you to modify the felt outfit that you get given, to accommodate your running and the temperature that day.
  • Face paints are a much better option than an itchy woollen white beard and get way more smiles from fellow runners.
  • You should not need too many layers on to run as you’ll warm up, have your support crew on hand to keep your post run necessities.
  • Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and keep hydrated.

Festive Illuminations

Festive Illuminations have really started to take off over the last few years.  For a fee you can walk around and look at some beautiful light and sound displays.  We have a couple running this year near us in Windsor Great Park and Kew gardens.  They are beautiful and certainly help to get you in the festive spirit.

Windsor Great Park Illuminated – light up your year! (

Christmas at Kew | Kew

Active party games/parlour games:

If you are having a Christmas party or family gathering this year there are many games you could organise, aside from just good old dancing to those festive tunes.  Here are a few favourites:

Cereal box game – Cut off the top tabs of a cereal box.  Place the cereal box upright on the floor in the centre of the room.  Have each person take a turn trying to pick up the cereal box up ONLY using their lips. After each person has gone that is a round. Once a round is completed cut the cereal box down to make it shorter. Repeat until there is a winner.

Musical chairs or musical statues – rediscover this childhood favourites of dancing or circling around, when the music stops, so do you – this is great for adults and children alike.

Wall sit competitions – this one will certainly get your quads working.  Using a wall or a partners back, bend your knees to a 90 degree angle and see who can hold it the longest.

Are you there Moriarty – in pairs sit opposite each other with blindfolds on and each with a long roll of newspaper.  Hold your partner’s left hand with your left hand, place the newspaper in your right hand.  Take it in turns to ask the other “Are you there Moriarty?” and the other replies “yes”.  The first speaker has to try and hit the second speaker with the roll, the other person has to try and duck out of the way without leaving their chair. Click Here for a demo from the team at QI.

I am sure there are other favourite childhood party games which would encourage movement and fun – what are your favourites? 

Ice Skating

There are temporary ice rinks popping up in a number of locations, available from now throughout the festive season, skating definitely counts as movement for even the most cautious skater.

Christmas day sea dip

For the really bold of you out there, there are various costal locations that organise and supervise a Christmas day dip or swim. I’ve got to say that this won’t be me!

Other walk ideas

There are lots of excuses to get out for a walk over the festive season, how about:

  • Christmas shopping requires a fair bit of walking, much more than internet shopping!
  • Perhaps you could also make a special effort to deliver your Christmas cards or presents on foot, it will be a nice way to also connect with friends. You might have to batch them up in to manageable chunks but you’ll get a good walk in and you’ll save a bit of money on postage and/or fuel as well.
  • Could you organise a Santa pub crawl with your friends, maybe raise some money for your favourite charity at the same time.
  • It’s a lovely time of year to do a good deed – could you take an older neighbour out for a walk and a coffee or perhaps organise a litter pick in your local area.
  • A walk and talk with friends (with a mulled wine stop along the way . . . ) is a good way to taking a break from too much family time if you have a house full.
  • On the days you know that the meals are going to be heavy and rich try to factor in a post meal walk. Take it slow, especially if you are full!  
  • Taking your four legged friend for a walk.

Don’t forget that this time of year is also a time for rest and reflection, trying to keep some movement into your days whether formal or informal is a good thing.   Whatever exercise you get up to over the festive break I hope you have a fantastic time!

Sara McDonnell

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