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Staying in Shape During the Holidays

Published online: Dec 12, 2023 Health & Wellness, Holidays
Viewed 867 time(s)

By Ray Gordon

Staying in shape at any point of the year can be a challenge, but it is even more challenging during the holidays. Between family events, last-minute shopping trips and holiday decorating and celebrations, it can feel impossible to squeeze in a workout. However, staying active and in shape during the holidays is essential.

The holiday season is known as the time of year when healthy habits tend to slide off track. With the cold weather keeping us inside and making us sluggish and the endless parade of holiday parties, who wants to trek to the gym? 

While some individuals who indulge during the holidays can refocus after the season, many struggle to get back into the swing of things where fitness and healthy eating are concerned.  It’s essential to incorporate some activity into your holiday schedule. Even if you need to adjust your workout routine, maintaining the momentum of your exercise routine is easier than trying to re-establish it later.

Here are some of the reasons why it’s crucial to stay in shape during the holiday season:

Stress: 38% of people experience an increase in stress during the holiday season. On top of all your normal daily obligations, you’re now tasked with buying gifts, hosting or attending gatherings, preparing extra food, visiting or hosting family, and traveling. Exercise releases endorphins, which help reduce feelings of stress and improve your mood.

Holiday Weight Gain: Food is a main focus of holiday gatherings so it's not uncommon to gain a few extra pounds during the holidays. Exercise can help you combat holiday weight gain by burning calories and maintaining muscle mass, which helps sustain your metabolic rate.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): The winter season chips away at daylight hours. For many individuals, this can lead to varying degrees of seasonal depression. Staying active can help reduce symptoms of SAD and elevate your mood. Exercising outdoors during the day can get your heart pumping and increase your sunlight exposure.

The bottom line is to just try your best. Staying healthy throughout the holiday season requires a delicate balance and a lot of self-forgiveness. Always remember, a few indulgent meals won’t derail you, nor will a handful of missed workouts. 

Plan ahead, do what you can where you can, and don’t stress about the rest.


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