Mind & Body
Don’t Take a Holiday from Fitness
11/1/2018 11:47:39 AM
Holiday Fitness

For most of us, it’s hard enough to include exercise into a normal schedule. But when shopping, parties, decorating, and extra cooking and baking projects are added in, it can seem almost impossible. Almost.

"The best secret for a great holiday is moderation,” explains Megan Majors, MS Exercise Physiology, manager of Dynamic Dimensions in Moss Bluff. "Doing things in moderation means you can enjoy the holiday season, and not lose sight of your fitness goals.”

It’s tempting to abandon fitness goals during the holidays with a promise of getting back on the wagon in January. "There’s no reason to completely ignore a healthy lifestyle this time of year,” says Majors. "Work in activity throughout the day to supplement your exercise if you can’t make it to the gym that day.”  For example: 
  • Park your car away from the store and walk briskly to the door.  
  • Take a walk around your neighborhood before or after work.  
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator every time you have the choice.  
  • Lower your expectations. Sometimes giving yourself permission to decrease the number of times you exercise per week from five to three, for example, provides you with a sense of control and eliminates the temptation to give it up completely. Some is better than none.
  • Don’t forget the weekends. "We are fortunate to have mild winters here,” Major says. "Take advantage of nice days and ride a bike or play outside with your kids.” It all adds up to additional movement throughout the day, which means additional calories burned.
As you’re incorporating movement into your day, keep in mind the different types of options. Try to incorporate these whenever you can:

Interval training is extremely time-efficient because your workout can be complete after 25 – 30 minutes. You work out at a high speed for a couple of minutes, and then slow down to recover for a couple more minutes. This up-and-down interval workout is great for your heart but should only be done a maximum of three times a week. "Many treadmills and stair machines have an interval program built in. If you’re exercising at home, you can do it on your own by doing aerobic-type movements like jumping jacks or jump rope for the high-intensity portion, and then march in place or do heel taps for the lower intensity level,” Majors said.

Strength training includes using weights, doing lunges or push-ups, or using an exercise ball. Incorporate leg lifts or lunges anytime during the day. Do a set of 10 while you blow dry your hair. Do squats during commercials while watching TV. "It all comes down to finding opportunities and taking advantage of them,” Majors adds.

Flexibility is a great stress-reliever during the holidays. "Yoga is a great way to help relieve stress, improve strength, and increase mobility. We offer Group Centergy and Silver Sneakers Yoga classes at Dynamic Dimensions,” Majors said.

Mental attitude is a major factor when trying to fit exercise into a holiday schedule. It’s tempting to put exercising on hold until January, but Majors advises thinking of the extra pounds you’ll have to lose if you over-indulge this season. 

Need more motivation to get up and move? Consider these facts:
  • Exercise reduces tension and anxiety; two emotions prevalent during the stressful holiday season. Studies show that an improved mood and enhanced relaxation occurs for 90 to 120 minutes after a workout.
  • Improved self-esteem. When you work out, you’ll eliminate guilt and feel better about yourself.
  • Physically active people have a lower risk of heart disease and depression.
  • When exercise is a regular part of your schedule, you can eat foods you love, again in moderation, and not gain weight.
  • Every bodily function improves with regular exercise:  sleep, digestion, mental processing, decision making, coordination, flexibility, circulation, range of motion, and self-esteem.
In January, you’ll be glad you stuck with your routine. Consider your fitness routine a gift of good health to yourself. And, by continuing to exercise regularly, you can afford to indulge a little – guilt free!

For more information on fitness techniques, please call Dynamic Dimensions in Sulphur at (337) 527-5459 or in Moss Bluff at (337) 855-7587.
Posted by: Christine Fisher | Submit comment | Tell a friend

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