‘Tis the Season for Fitness!

You Must Chill!
Photo by Leslie Hassler

Hopefully you beat that turkey hangover, survived the crazy Black Friday crowds and are ready to tackle a new work week. As the holiday season of 2012 has also officially kicked into high gear, I thought this Motivation Monday offered the perfect opportunity to touch on the importance of keeping your mental health in check during the hustle and bustle of this joyous but chaotic time of year.

Now more than ever, getting those workouts in will help burn some of the extra holiday calories that come in all shapes and sizes ranging from homemade cookies to sweet, seasonal cocktails. Weight maintenance aside, breaking a sweat can also help you shake off some of the extra stress of the “most wonderful time of the year” including battling the crowds in overheated stores and spending extra amounts of time with the extended family. When you add online shopping and maybe some lo-cal recipe surfing to the everyday stimuli of  emails, texts, Tweets and status updates, it’s no wonder our minds are in overdrive.

With so much more than sugar plums dancing through our heads, it’s more important than ever to not only get those workouts in, but also steal some precious moments to disconnect and re-boot. Here a few tips to make it happen:

  • Focus on one thing at a time: If you set aside one hour to write holiday cards or wrap gifts, then for those 60 minutes, don’t deal with texting or answering emails. If it makes you feel better, you can alert your social network that you’ll be offline for a bit. Then put on whatever music motivates you to be a good elf and  get to work.
  • Step away from the computer: When December starts, I will be making a conscious effort to NOT turn on my home computer unless absolutely necessary when I get home from work and the gym. I will check my iPhone or iPad at least once before bed to make sure I didn’t miss any “emergency” correspondence, but it makes a difference not to have the desktop on with the Facebook tab taunting me to make my way back to the keyboard.
  • Turn off the TV: Try to establish one night where the DVR does the watching for you. Turn that night into decompress time with family or friends. Maybe play cards or a board game to forget about the holiday craziness for awhile. It may turn into a night of getting the Christmas gifts in order, but it’ll be time to tackle those holiday chores with fewer distractions.
  • Make me-time a must: If you’re making the commitment to find 20-30 minutes in your crazy schedule for a workout, take another five minutes to stretch. Then try and add five more minutes to a hot shower at night. When you’re out shopping, treat yourself to a lavender-scented body wash or moisturizer to turn that shower in to an extra calming experience. Sip some caffeine-free tea afterward, burn a candle with a calming scent and try to shut down that overactive mind before getting under the covers.

As you work through this holiday high-time and make an effort to workout, don’t forget the importance of standing still for awhile, too. Never underestimate the power of your mind on the journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

About LauraLovesFitness

After spending more than 10 years in the communications industry, this lifetime fitness lover and newly certified fitness professional wants to share my passion for health and well-being with others.

Posted on November 26, 2012, in Fitness, Health, Nutrition and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I will definitely take your suggestion to write holiday cards, I actually miss doing that. 🙂

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving!
      Thanks for leaving your comment – and glad to offer what will hopefully be a fun holiday activity instead of a stressful one! I feel we need all the help we can get at this time of year..
      Have a great night!

  2. so funny that you would write about this today! i was just saying to my classes this morning that getting to the gym is sooooooo important through the holidays! working out during next several weeks is a must instead of telling yourself to wait until january and “start fresh”. its better to work out while eating your way through the holidays instead of just eating! lol! the tips are awesome but so many just want to eat and enjoy and then move on. like jillian michales said the morning of the macys thanksgiving day parade when al roker asked about diet during the holidays. her response was simply, ” GO FOR IT! WORK OUT TOMORROW!”
    i love it! xo

    • Hi Amy! Great minds think alike! Yes, it really is such an important time to take care of ourselves. While I’m all about enjoying holiday parties and the treats that come with them, it’s all to easy to just let it all go. That only means more work to deal with in January – so yes, let’s get a head start now! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Miss you!

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