Fall Back On Fitness
As we head into the cooler autumn months, we undoubtedly expect that the upcoming holiday seasons surrounding Thanksgiving, Halloween, and (yes, already) Christmas will lead to our spending more and more time indulging and less and less time keeping ourselves healthy and fit.
This doesn’t have to be the case. We are not bears, and regardless of what one may think, we do not need to store up extra fat so that we may hibernate for the winter! Awareness of the potential pitfalls of the holiday season can prevent the pounds from sneaking up on you. Treat yourself to an early gift by purchasing a journal in which you can keep a daily record of your eating, exercise and stress behaviours. Keep an eye on your journal entries so that you’ll notice your less than healthy behaviours and make changes before you get overwhelmed.
One suggestion is to weigh yourself once a week during the holiday season. One study of weight loss over a 50-week period found that some study participants gained 500 percent more weight per week during holiday weeks as compared to non-holiday weeks. But the good news: Participants who consistently monitored and recorded their own behaviours were able to lose weight during the holidays. (Published in Health Psychology, July 1998.)
The next suggestion is to remember that your body needs movement more than ever during the holiday season. Exercise releases tension, expends the calories of those holiday goodies, increases your energy levels so you can shop til’ you drop, elevates your mood so you can combat holiday-related depression and be the life of the party, and gives you the gift of time for yourself. Here are some great ways to fit exercise into the busy fall season:
? Exercise first thing in the morning before you begin your busy day.
? Try to plan holiday activities around family and friends, instead of around food. Tell family and friends to bring walking shoes and comfortable clothes to your celebration. Then take a 30-minute walk together. You can do it in shifts so someone’s always basting the turkey!
? Get into a routine now, before the holidays strike! Those who have previously developed a solid exercise habit will make the time to exercise even when they feel like they are ?too busy? to find the time.