Exercise during the holidays (PART 1)

This is the first part of a multi-post series on exercise and fitness during the holidays

The holidays can be a super stressful time of year.  There are so many commitments vying for your already precious time.  You might be tempted to skip your workout when you are short on time or out of your routine.  Here are three reasons you should prioritize exercise during the holidays. 

First, countless studies show the effectiveness of exercise in decreasing stress. Most people experience increased levels of stress during the holidays. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins, which can help you regulate stress, elevate your mood and increase your resiliency. Sounds pretty good, right? Even 15 minutes of movement can have a significant impact on your day.  Don’t think you can get a great session in 15 minutes? Give this class a try.

Second, exercise is a good habit you want to maintain regardless of what life throws at you. Just like any muscle in your body, for a habit to maintain its strength, you must work on it (even when it’s challenging). Keeping that practice during the holidays will strengthen that habit and help you stay on track with your health and fitness goals.  Need another reason to keep exercising over the holidays, it is easier to maintain a habit than start over from scratch (in January). 

Third, exercise has been shown to boost sleep quality. During the holidays, we often attend gatherings and celebrations that cause us to stay up past our usual bedtime or sleep away from home; both can wreak havoc on our sleep quality.  According to the Cleveland Clinic, research has shown that exercise can be just as effective as prescription sleep medications. The more active you are, the more your body pushes you to sleep at night.  Having a good night’s sleep will make it easier to exercise the next day and keep the cycle going.

Check back next week for more exercise and fitness tips for the holiday season. 

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