Reasons to exercise before, during and after the holidays

Reasons to exercise before, during and after the holidays

Whatever you do, don’t stop exercising now with the intention of picking it back up at a later time! Maintaining the momentum of your regular exercise routine is much easier than trying to re-establish it again.

Exercise can be a valuable tool to fight the difficulties of the coming season. Such as: Holiday weight gain - Two primary ways in which exercise can combat this risk is by Expending calories and contributing to a negative caloric balance. Maintaining muscle mass and thereby sustaining metabolic rate.

Holiday stress - The holiday season, although typically joyous, does bring stress along with it — added shopping, increased food preparation, house guests and frequent visitors, financial stress, more demands on our time and simply a change in schedule all amount to increased stress. Change, whether it is good or bad, equates to stress. Exercise reduces stress by releasing "feel good" endorphins. In addition, it provides an outlet to release built-up stress that, if left to its own accord, can often lead to overeating.

Seasonal depression - Although exercise can't make the days longer, it can reduce depressive symptoms and elevate mood. Performing an outdoor workout at the noon hour provides additional benefits by increasing sunlight exposure.

Exercise provides structure - Daily routines help us stay on track with our food intake, stabilize our circadian rhythms, aid in maintenance of sleep schedules and provide a stable backdrop to our day — thereby offering a framework in which we can prioritize the demands put upon us.

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