4 Reasons to Keep Exercising During the Holidays
The holidays are a time of year when people often overindulge in food, drink, and other activities.
This can lead to weight gain or poor health for some people. If you find yourself feeling guilty about the amount of food or alcohol that you have consumed this season, try not to worry too much!
There are plenty of ways to exercise during the winter months so your body doesn't suffer from lack of activity.
Read on below for four reasons why it is important to keep up with exercising throughout December and into January!
You may gain weight over the holidays
If you are used to exercising on a regular basis, it can be demoralising if your activity level decreases during the winter months.
This is one of many reasons why forgoing exercise isn't actually beneficial at all!
Without physical activity in our lives, we often wind up eating more food than usual because there is no reason not to eat.
A study found that people who were given access to unlimited snacks ate 50% more calories when they had little or no opportunity for exertion (exercise).
If you plan ahead and make sure that you have some fun activities planned outside like skiing or skating, then perhaps this won't happen to you!
But even better would be to plan exercise sessions throughout December to make sure your calorie intake isn't skyrocketing.
Holiday stress will increase weight
During the holidays, there are many reasons why people may feel stressed out or anxious about their lives.
The festive season can be hectic for everyone involved in planning and attending gatherings with family members, friends, work colleagues etc.
This time of year is meant to be joyous but sometimes it just seems like too much!
For some individuals who have difficulty coping with difficult emotions related to anger or sadness, eating becomes a method for dealing with these feelings.
If you are familiar with using food as a way to cope when feeling upset or distressed during this period of time, try not to let yourself get caught up in how you are feeling.
Exercise is a great way to manage stress and it can help to decrease or alleviate symptoms of depression that may be heightened during the winter months too!
In fact, one study found that regular exercise sessions for 20 weeks significantly improved overall mental well-being in elderly individuals experiencing depressive symptoms over time.
If you are looking for an effective method of decreasing your holiday stress levels, then perhaps starting to jog or swim each day could make all the difference when it comes to coping with these difficult emotions throughout December and January.
Many people find themselves struggling with feelings of sadness, fatigue etc when autumn turns into winter time - this is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a mood disorder that happens when the lack of sunlight during winter months affects individuals in negative ways.
This can lead to feelings such as depression and anxiety, which may increase if people don't work on decreasing their SAD symptoms through exercise!
One study found that women who exercised for 40 minutes per day five times per week significantly improved their overall mental health over time compared with those who didn't engage in physical activity regularly.
So even if you're feeling sad or stressed out this holiday season, try not to worry too much - it's likely your body just needs some extra endorphins (the brain chemicals associated with pain reduction and pleasure) from doing something active like going for a jog outside each day!
Exercise Provides Structure
Planning your exercise sessions ahead of time can help you to stay accountable and get back on track with being more physically active.
After a long day at work, the last thing that many people want to do is spend some extra hours in the gym or going for a run outside!
But by starting your workout early each morning while it's still dark out, then this becomes much easier because it fits into your daily routine without too much effort.
Plus when someone has already made plans to go swimming tomorrow evening instead of watching TV on their sofa all night, they are far less likely to give up halfway through December due to laziness!
Another benefit from having set days/times where you will be exercising means that there won't be any excuses for not keeping up with staying active throughout the festive period.
So rather than waiting to see how you feel during December, why don't you start planning your workout sessions today?
Then this way it will be much easier come December 25th because you'll already know what days/times work best for you!
Why You Should Concentrate On Low Impact Exercises
First off, low impact exercises are great for people who are on their feet all day because it reduces the amount of pressure on your joints.
For example, running is a high impact exercise that isn't recommended for individuals with joint problems or knee pain because this can be exacerbated by doing this type of activity.
Instead, try opting to go swimming each morning at the local pool instead!
Swimming laps in water means there will still be plenty of resistance but without any extra stress placed onto your hips and knees while you swim up and down.
So even if you find yourself feeling very tired during December due to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) symptoms - don't worry about not being able to workout anymore just because the days are shorter outside!
Make sure that when planning your workouts, you concentrate on low impact exercises so that your joints won't feel too sore or painful afterwards.
It is also important to remember not to overdo it when exercising during the winter months - otherwise this can lead to more fatigue and weight gain if done in excess!
So make sure that each workout lasts at most 30 minutes, with a few short breaks throughout for coffee/tea etc.
You should then find yourself feeling less tired and much happier (and able) throughout December and January as a result!
Types of exercises:
Types of exercises: swimming, low impact workouts like yoga and the ellipitcal training machines are great for those who want to avoid high intensity activities that may worsen depression symptoms over winter months.
Make sure you stay hydrated throughout your workout sessions with plenty of water because this will help keep energy levels up too!
Remember not to do any exercise within two hours after eating a meal as it can be harder during digestion so plan accordingly depending on what time you finish work etc each day.
Mixing things up is also important by including different types of exercises throughout December to keep boredom away!
So rather than only doing the same thing each day, try adding some variety so that you can enjoy working out again - even if it is just for 30 minutes.
It's also important not to forget strength training too because this will help improve your bone density and ability to stay upright as you age (and reduce risk of osteoporosis).
So make sure that along with low impact workouts like swimming every morning, include plenty of squats/push ups/pull ups during December (if possible) or at least twice a week.
This way all areas of your body will be toned up evenly without any pressure on joints while still keeping cardio levels high enough for weight loss purposes.
So if you are looking for some suggestions on how to stay active during the holiday season, then why not try one or all of these tips?
Even though exercise can be difficult at times due to increased stress levels, it is still a great way to lower your mental health symptoms and decrease depressive feelings that may rise up over fall/winter.
If exercising every day just seems too daunting right now but you would like an alternative method of staying healthy this December/January period then perhaps planning out when each week where will have time for going swimming etc could help!
Or even setting aside 30 minutes each day in order to practice yoga poses at home might make all the difference.
Overall, just starting slowly with something small such as going for a jog or swim once per week is sure to make you feel much better about the coming winter months!
So don't stress out too much if right now it seems like there's not enough time - just starting will help you stay motivated throughout December and January.