The trick to staying active during the busy holiday months and the cold winter season is to plan ahead. Pick a time during the day when you plan to exercise and stick with it. Lay your workout clothes out the night before to save time and energy. Ask an exercise buddy who will keep you accountable to join you when you don’t feel like exercising. On those days when you really don’t want to exercise and all other tactics to find motivation have failed, tell yourself you will exercise for 5 minutes and stop after 5 minutes if you’re still unmotivated. Chances are you’ll exercise longer than just those 5 minutes. Be sure to listen to your body and give yourself a break if you really need to take the day off to rest.
If you just can’t stand the cold weather during the winter months, find ways to exercise indoors. Fitness centers usually run deals around the first of the year when people are starting those New Years’ resolutions. Or you can exercise in the comfort of your own home with a home workout DVD. Don’t worry, these have come a long way since the days of Jane Fonda! Some of my favorites are by Jillian Michaels and The Biggest Loser workout series.
Make exercise a family event! Get the entire family involved in physical fitness by walking or running together, playing tag football or yard bowling, or throwing a Frisbee in the park. Sign up for a holiday themed 5K walk/run race and compete as a family. Most cities have a local Thanksgiving or Christmas 5K that benefits local schools, churches or charities so you can reap the benefits of exercising, spending time with family and helping out a good cause!
Hoping ya’ll enjoy a healthy and happy holiday season shared with friends and family. And remember what the season is really all about; celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!
Jenny Cooper, RD, LDN