Last month, my fitness challenge to you . . . was also a gratitude practice. I asked you to simply be grateful for what you body CAN do. This month’s challenge is a little more . . . naggy, I’m afraid. But it is heartfelt, so I hope that helps.
Challenge #14 – Keep moving through the holiday season.
I know, I know. The holidays can be super disruptive to any kind of movement or exercise routine you’ve managed to carve into your days. So can nasty winter weather! It’s so easy to just . . . stop. And I’m sure you mean to catch back up after the holidays – or when the weather gets better, but . . . that’s never as easy to actually do as you think it will be.
There are lots of reasons to keep moving through the holidays and winter weather, so maybe I can convince you to keep moving . . .
First, sticking with you regular movement/exercise practice is actually a great antidote to holiday stress and overwhelm. Those endorphins? They help combat stress, make you feel more energetic, encourage better sleep, and just bring an overall sense of well-being. (And . . . we can all use that during the holidays.)
Second, regular movement can counter the sedentary nature of winter AND the holidays. Just think of all the sitting you do at this time of year! Watching favorite holiday movies. Hanging out in front of the fire. Gathering together with family and friends. Working on puzzles. Watching football games. There’s just . . . a lot of sitting. Get up and move! It’s a great way to balance out all that sitting around.
Third, if you keep up with your regular movement/exercise practice, you’ll avoid “de-training” (a fancy word for use-it-or-lose-it), which is especially important as we get older. If you cut out your regular movement practice during the holidays, you’ll find yourself “losing” some of your hard-won fitness gains. AND . . . it’s harder to get started again after a break. It’s much better to cut back a little than stopping your movement practice altogether.
A few strategies to help you keep up your movement practice:
- Make a plan. Think about how you can fit your practice into your day. You may need to be a little more flexible with your timing. Or what you do. Or for how long. And that’s okay! The important thing is to DO something and not let it go altogether.
- Embrace short workouts. Again, the important thing here is to keep moving — even if you need to cut back on your typical workout. During the holidays, you may need to take a shorter walk, or choose a shorter workout, or do fewer “reps.” Remember that it’s better to cut back a little than it is to stop altogether.
- Find an alternative. If you usually walk outside, for example, but you’re reluctant to do that when the weather is winter-unpleasant, find something else to do instead. You can use a treadmill if you have access to one. Or you can try one of Leslie Sansone’s walking workouts on YouTube (walking in place, basically, to music with a group of incredibly cheerful fellow walkers). You can also find ways to make walking outside in the winter tolerable (with YakTraxx, wool accessories, and fleece pants). (I love getting outside in all weather – once I put on the proper attire and convince myself to just get out the door.)
So the challenge this month . . .
Keep moving through the holiday season: make a plan, embrace short workouts, find an alternative.
See what happens!
Previous Get Strong Monthly Fitness Challenges: