This time of year is really perfect as far as providing you with the opportunity to walk, probably more than you’d like to. But when else can you get the motivation to walk and walk and walk, looking for that perfect gift, so your loved ones will find it under the tree on Christmas morning?

Speaking of trees, do you have yours yet? If you don’t, well the Christmas clock is ticking down. But don’t fret, this is just another perfect example of the holidays providing you with another outlet for a walking adventure. Whether you’re looking for a tree for yourself, or better still, enlisting the members of the family to join you in finding that perfect tree, it’s a great opportunity for you all to get outside this time of year. You can all enjoy that cold, crisp air and head towards the nearest Christmas tree farm. And because the underlying motive of all of this is to get you walking more this time of year, searching for that perfect tree is a great way to walk through the rows of different type of trees that seem to go on forever.

Let’s face it, there is something about searching for that tree that helps make the holidays special. And looking for a tree with your family and friends help makes the search just that much more special. Now, let’s not cheat and go and pick one out from the “pre-cut” lo!. Get out there, grab your saw (you may have to shell out $5.00 as a deposit if you borrow the farm's tools) but the end result will be more than worth it. There is nothing like letting the kids run in front of you as you begin your search and listen as they talk amongst themselves as they each rush to be the one that finds that special tree.

Well, after traipsing around the farm for an hour or two, and beginning to NOT feel your toes anymore, your happy crew finally decide that they found the right tree for the house. After you, yep, you’re elected to cut it down, and have that tree in tow it back to the house and get it decorated. But remember, the underlying concept around this whole blog post is dealing with walking. And while this time of year provides us with unique opportunities to do just that. Are you really taking advantage of them? I mean, you’re walking, but are you tracking your steps or the amount of effort you’re putting your body through in order to fulfill these holiday tasks? If you’re not, then you really won’t be able to hold yourself accountable for the amount of activity you’re doing this time of year. Our advice is to hold yourself accountable by getting yourself a fitness tracker, either a good Pedometer or an Activity Monitor. Now we all know that any pedometer will track the steps your taking but some of the more robust models can not only track your steps but can calculate the number of calories your burning and the distance you’ve traveled while doing so. One that we recommend that will do the job whether your new to walking or have been using a walking program to build yourself up and get yourself in better shape, is the Omron HJ322U Downloadable Activity Monitor  It also tracks "brisk steps" separately from regular steps along with distance and calories burned. The pedometer is also able to connect to via USB to upload information. So you can see, it can keep track of all those steps you’ve taken in finding that tree. Now a good reliable activity monitor can do that but a lot more. Depending on just what you're looking for, they can keep track of your walking activity, but also any other physical activity like running, swimming, stairs climbed, and your heart rate. A good dependable activity monitor that is great if your new to being active or are an old hand at it is the Fitbit Charge 2 Activity Tracker HR. Whether you are a fitness enthusiast or a professional athlete, this innovative wearable technology acts as the “ghost you” you have meant to compete with to maximize your performance and optimize fitness. Fitbit Charge 2 is specially tailored with some cutting-edge features like the PurePulse heart rate monitor, which makes it easy to track your cardio fitness levels and get the most out of your workouts. The all-day activity tracking and auto sleep tracking allows you to observe how your daily routine adds up. The SmartTrack feature enables you to record your workouts select exercises automatically and monitor real-time workout stats on a large screen. With a plethora of next-generation features and a stylish look, the Fitbit Charge 2 offers everything you need to perk up your fitness levels.

So you see, if your taking advantage of this time of year to finally keep track of just how much you really are getting done, fitness wise, you need to arm yourself with the proper tools and the above, pedometer or activity monitor are just that, tools!

It would be a shame if you let this opportunity of taking advantage of the holiday season to motivate you to walk and keep track of your walking while you’re shopping, visiting friends and family while you actually track just how much physical activity you’re doing. Another perk to all of this, if your more conscious of just how active you are, you may make a conscientious effort to forego, that extra sweet treat that’s offered at a social engagement and you can come out of the holidays feeling better about yourself because you took charge of your activity and eating habits at this festive of the year.

Like we said above, the tree’s now home and waiting to be decorated. You can feel pretty good about yourself that you accomplished that important task and maybe worked up a sweat doing it. So how about rewarding yourself for a job well done? Why not give yourself a Christmas present, one that can follow you through the year and help to keep you on track to a new year of being healthy!