Monday, January 22, 2018

Fit for the Holidays

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

Your timely reminder of the importance of exercise …

Use this fitness motivation to soar through the season. It is a time of year when much gets in the way of your healthy habits. Often, we let it, with the excuses “It’s only once a year” and “I deserve a break.”

A break from health is never needed. So, toss those excuses out with the broken holiday lights. Stay on track with these reminders of why today’s workout is more important than ever.

Boost Your Immune System

Fight off winter’s worst.

Regular exercise improves the body’s ability to fight off germs. This includes common colds and flu as well as infections and chronic illness. Studies have shown moderate-intensity exercise on a daily basis can significantly reduce the number of colds caught compared to inactive individuals. Exercise is believed to increase white blood cell count, which fights infections.

You deserve a healthy holiday. Use your workout as a top defense against sniffles and sneezes. This time of year, you are surrounded in the malls, grocery stores, office, and at that party where Santa’s nose looked redder than usual. A half-hour workout may spare you from several congested days of functioning at minimal capacity.

Increase Stamina

Work out and go all day long.

Power up a long day with a workout. Or, hit the Center mid-day to avoid an afternoon slump. You cannot afford to be sluggish when busier than a toy-making elf. There will be plenty of quiet time in January. For now, climb aboard your sleigh and holiday along like a boss.

An energizing training session or fun Group Fitness class is the respite needed to charge ahead. Take advantage of fitness to fuel your holiday tasks and enhance your enjoyment. 

Improve Strength

Think of the demands we place on our bodies this time of year. Clearing away leaves leads to shoveling snow. Moving furniture to accommodate seating for holiday guests. Carrying packages, unloading boxes, and dangling from ladders to hang holiday decorations.

Train to move with less effort.

If you do not typically strength train, take a light approach to sculpting key muscles. A trainer can introduce you to dumbbells or equipment to tone for the tasks ahead. For those already in a strength routine, monitor your reps and weights. Adjust for any non-session heavy work you need to perform (like cutting down a National Lampoon-sized Christmas tree).

Prevent Injuries

Polish your form with help from a personal trainer. Move and lift properly, both on the Fitness Floor and during daily activities. Consider a training session focused on functional training methods. Learn better ways to manage your holiday haul.

A strong core is a holiday must. Try a Pilates session to engage and strengthen torso muscles, which support the back. Keep yourself mobile during the holidays by nurturing this support system.

Decrease Stress

Peace in. Peace out.

Whether cardio kickboxing or mindfully flowing through yoga, exercise melts away tension. Unfortunately, the holidays bring their share of stress. They also can trigger anxiety and depression. Remain faithful to your workout to combat the emotional ups and downs of the season. It will help you achieve peace within and peace on earth.

Better to take out frustrations on the Fitness Floor than on the stressed, ill-tempered people who seem to ironically surface during the happiest season of all. Heck, if we all exercised throughout the season, our loads would feel lighter, smiles brighter, and bodies healthier. It wouldn’t even take a holiday miracle.



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