Keeping up with your regular exercise routine and trying to meet your fitness goals can prove to be really challenging during the holidays as you try to juggle extra demands of your time. Many people feel that they don't have time to exercise because they have planned vacations approaching, family in town, kids home from school, special holiday activities, etc, but maintaining exercise habits during the season might be actually more important than any other time. Abandoning your normal routines and habits during this time makes room for less healthy ones, but with a little thought and planning, you can stay physically active regardless of your crazy schedule.
From the end of October to New Years, it is common that people gain about 10 pounds. This can be the result of a lot of things such as overeating, unhealthy foods, lack of sleep, decreased activity, etc. After all the effort you put into losing those inches and building that muscle, why let yourself go in the opposite direction and gain weight? Although it might not be realistic to try to continue losing around the holidays, you can, however, aim to "fight the bulge". Exercising expends calories which helps to balance out the extra that your body isn't exactly used to taking in and helps to maintain muscle mass. Keeping your muscle is important when trying to keep your metabolism up. Taking three to six week off from the gym can really decrease your muscle mass, strength, and metabolism, which will make starting your routine back up after the holidays even harder.
Along with pounds, stress also accumulates around this time of year as well because of the added responsibilities and activities. Whether it's good or bad, change creates stress. Regular exercise can ensure a positive mindset during the holidays, which is extremely important. Built up stress can increase feelings of depression which is extremely common during these months, but exercise is proven to reduce those feelings by releasing endorphins that make you feel great. Providing a healthy outlet to regularly release your built up emotions will help to slow down your desire to keep eating the yummy foods and be lazy. Regularly exercising also helps with fatigue, which will really help out when you have a full day of things you want to accomplish.
No matter how busy you think you may be or where you are, don't stop exercising now with the intention of picking it back up at a later time! Maintaining the habits of a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise is much easier than trying to reestablish them again at a later date. Although it is tempting to throw exercise by the wayside, continue to make it a priority. Clearly, exercise can be a valuable tool to fight the difficulties of the season.
Breanna is an ACSM certified Health Fitness Specialist and a degreed professional with her Bachleors of Science in Exercise Science. Breanna has a passion for helping others and for health and wellness. She is eager to help you reach your fitness and body goals, contact her by phone at 210-495-3131 or message on the website and get started today!