Stay on Track With Your Workouts During the Holidays

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Let me motivate you to keep working out by sharing three important reasons why you need to keep moving this holiday season.

The holiday season is a busy time for most people.
As we try to navigate all of the extra responsibilities, party invites and end-of-the-year work commitments, workouts tend to be the first thing to get cut from the schedule. But what if I told you that this is quite possibly the worst time to slack off at the gym, and that by becoming sedentary during this time of year, you may start off the new year with excess weight to lose and diminished fitness levels?

Here are three important reasons why you need to keep moving this holiday season:

Weight Gain: Increased eating, when combined with decreased activity levels, spells disaster for your waistline. It’s inevitable that you will indulge in a few less-than-healthy treats over the holidays; and we all know that consuming too many calories will lead to weight gain. It’s not uncommon for people to gain between five to 10 pounds from overeating during the holidays and then struggle during the new year to shed those pounds. Staying active will help you to better manage your calories-in/calories-burned equation. Exercise is never a substitute for poor eating, but during the holidays, staying active or, better yet, increasing your current activity level may help you keep off the extra pounds, optimize your calorie burning and keep your metabolism in check.

Stress: The holidays can be a stressful time with travel, busy schedules, visiting family members and a change from your regular routine. So it’s not surprising that you may feel your stress levels rising. Exercise is great for reducing your stress levels, as your body releases endorphins that naturally help make you feel good. So if you quit your “stress reliever” during a highly stressful time, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed. Staying active during times of high stress in combination with trying to keep your routine as consistent as possible is a great way to keep the winter blues away.

Loss of fitness: When you stop exercising for a prolonged period of time, your fitness levels diminish, you lose muscle mass, cardiorespiratory fitness levels decrease, and many people find that their muscles get tight and stiff. If you’ve been dedicated throughout the year and built up your fitness level, a few weeks off over the holidays may set you back. When you start again, you’ll be starting from the beginning. It’s best not to let all your hard work go to waste and, instead, keep your body moving over the holidays.

An occasional planned rest from your exercise routine for a few days can actually be good for your body, as it allows you to rebuild and regenerate. But you shouldn’t just stop your routine over the holidays, as the added calorie intake combined with lack of activity isn’t a good combination.

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