Published by
Stanford Medicine

Ask Stanford Med, Health and Fitness

When it comes to holiday exercise, "something is better than nothing"

When it comes to holiday exercise, "something is better than nothing"

snowy run

Worried about maintaining your work-out routine during this busy holiday season? In a 2011 Scope Q&A, Joyce Hanna, associate director of Stanford’s Health Improvement Program, offered some tips on how to stay fit and active this time of year. When asked for suggestions on how to squeeze in a work-out amongst travel and festivities, she had this to say:

Chances are you’ll find that in spite of your good intentions there are times when you just won’t have time to do your planned exercise program. The most important thing to remember is that something is better than nothing. A study done at Stanford showed that breaking up a 30 minute exercise time into three shorter ten-minute segments produced significant health benefits.

I suggest to friends and family a “talk while we walk” date instead of a coffee or lunch date. Take advantage of the walking you’re doing while shopping. Walk briskly! Take the stairs, park far away, schedule meetings outside the office, walk down the hall to deliver a message instead of sending an e-mail, set a timer every 30 minutes to stand up and move. If you resist having an all-or-nothing attitude toward exercise, you’ll find that you can maintain your fitness level over the holidays.

Previously: A full workout in just seven minutes? Science says so!, Boosting willpower and breaking bad habits, Stanford nutritionist offers tips for eating healthy during the holidays, How to stay fit and active this holiday season and What you can do in thirty minutes a day
Photo by michael_bielecki

One Response to “ When it comes to holiday exercise, "something is better than nothing" ”

  1. Anant Says:

    Indeed. Something is better than something especially i liked the pubmed study you linked to this article – and it was terrific to note that 30 mins of exercise can be broken up in segments. But still a genuine question that comes to my mind – what about people looking for a weightloss. becoz’ i guess for that one is better off working out for 30 minutes straight. The percentage of calories one burns from fat will be higher after 15 minutes of cardio. Right?


Please read our comments policy before posting

Stanford Medicine Resources: