Staying Fit During the Holidays
The holidays are intended to be a time for giving, reflecting and celebrating. But often, we find ourselves stressed and overwhelmed with schedules that leave us overbooked and begging for a few moments of peace and quiet.
While keeping up with your exercise program during the holiday season can be daunting, this is the most critical time of the year to maintain your usual exercise routine for several reasons. Weight gain during this time of year can average anywhere from 5 – 8 pounds, which is probably not the gift you were hoping for! Another factor is that exercise is one of the best ways to relieve stress and keep your mind and spirit clear. Therefore, it’s necessary to keep up with your exercise routine, even if you must alter it on occasion. Certainly don’t stress over the fact that you can’t make every yoga or spin class. If you can’t run on the day you have your office holiday party, that’s fine… but reschedule and follow through and stay committed.
When the days are just too busy, find alternative ways to get your exercise while enjoying the fresh air. Invite a few friends to go ice skating or cross country skiing. Being outdoors not only stimulates creativity, but it relieves stress naturally while chasing away the winter blues. If you feel that you need an extra push, ask a friend to be a workout buddy during the holidays. If shopping is on your list during the holidays (and of course it is), arrive at the mall early before the stores open to do a power walk while window shopping for gift ideas. Finally, ask for a gift this holiday season that keeps on giving: a gift certificate for a boot camp or a personal trainer.
Overall, forget the rules of a rigid exercise schedule. Give yourself permission to alter your routine if needed but be creative in doing what you can to stay active while eating healthy. When high expectations and stress threaten to derail your holidays, you know it’s time concentrate on yourself to stay healthy.