04 Nov The Holidays are Coming
By: Donna Jenkins (Size Size Coach)
If you’re like the average American, you have already begun to feel the enticing pull of the upcoming holidays and celebration is on your mind. We eat, we drink, we indulge and then we end up feeling bloated and miserable by the time it’s all over. Whether we admit it or not, our culture has an almost unspoken rule that, with the holidays, comes the long line of parties, family gatherings and events with unlimited eating and skipped workouts. Whether or not you do this, you have a choice.
Make the decision to not let every party become your own personal eating contest, and be sure you don’t let shopping take the place of your usual exercise routine. All it takes is flexibility, creativity, a new way of defining exercise and a plan B!
Use every opportunity to Get Moving! It’s tempting to ditch your workouts as your days fill up with holiday preparations, parties and errands, but staying active is a MUST! Did you know that exercise will help you deal with the added stress that comes with the hustle and bustle of the holidays and actually gives you energy to complete the many tasks that comes with it? Prioritizing exercise will also help you manage your weight as you navigate through the maze of parties and gatherings you’ll be attending. If following your usual routine this time of year becomes problematic, simply come up with a new one.
There’s a saying that if Plan A fails, default to your Plan B. Planning is the key for maintaining your exercise goals during the holidays. Pencil your workouts into your busy schedule at the beginning so that it does not become an afterthought to be easily dismissed when your schedule gets busy.
According to fitness standards, exercise recommendations for adults are 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 3 times a week. Plan to exercise at least 15 minutes three times a week. This does not necessarily mean going to the gym (if you can get the time then go ahead!). Any activity that presents a physical challenge or that increases our heart rate can help us maintain our exercise goals even when the time to do a formal workout is limited.
Better yet, instead of skipping the workout, remember that walking is the easiest way to exercise. With all of the advancements in technology, it’s simple to track how much walking you are doing with a fitness app or pedometer. Try parking on the furthest possible location at your favorite shopping mall to increase walking distance and walk briskly to increase the heart rate and take the stairs instead of elevators whenever possible
If you don’t have access to a gym or don’t want to use one, incorporate exercise at home by standing while you do household chores and try to do them as fast as you can. When in the kitchen, stop and take 5 minutes to stretch and use cans of food as a great substitute for free weights to do biceps and shoulder exercises
The key is to turn the usual activities we do into exercise opportunities.