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SPARC's Cracker Activity Tips

Wednesday, 21 December, 2005

SPARC's Cracker Activity Tips for the Festive Season

This year's festive season is here and, for most of us, our regular physical activity regimes fall by the wayside.

That's why SPARC's (Sport & Recreation New Zealand) General Manager of Participation and personal trainer Deb Hurdle has come up with 10 cracker tips for Pushing Play over the holiday season.

- Grab the ham and/or turkey for some early morning Christmas Day weights – alternate between bicep curls and upright rows. Or try stomach crunches with wrapped Plum Duff on upper chest – no one ever eats it anyway!

- Hide all the pressies around the house and garden and start a Christmas gift treasure hunt

- Redesign the Christmas tree – stretch your body by removing each decoration piece by piece then redecorate – try this at least twice over the festive season

- When preparing Christmas dinner, think bulge prevention. For each fresh pea shelled, do a star jump; get energetic with your chopping; and whip cream for the trifle with a teaspoon (alternating hands when they get numb)

- Entertain the family by staging your own version of the Christmas story – as a jazz musical

- Get patriotic and re-enact some of New Zealand's most triumphant sporting moments for the family – what about that third one day cricket match!

- Enjoy a romantic waltz with your special someone under – or around – the mistletoe, or couple up and enact your own 'Dancing with the Stars'

- Take the dog out for a brisk Christmas morning walk before opening up the Chrissie pressies

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- Keep those aerobic levels up by offering to return everyone's unwanted presents to the shops the next day, by foot

- See the Christmas season through kids' eyes and prepare an 'adventure'. Pack a picnic and sunscreen and head out on a gorgeous walk somewhere exotic.

SPARC is the crown entity responsible for promoting, encouraging and supporting sport and physical recreation in New Zealand. For more details, visit


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