How to Keep Exercising through the Holidays
By Nicole M. Spooner
The American College of Sports Medicine maintains that exercising at least 30 minutes a day at a moderate level is necessary to reduce the risk of disease. Those 30 minutes have nothing to do with weight loss, weight maintenance, etc., but routine is key. Make sure you put forth the effort, even if it is just a ten-minute workout when you normally do an hour. Something is better than nothing.
“The all or nothing attitude needs to be thrown out the window,” Katie Schuver stated. Schuver has her Masters, is an experienced registered yoga teacher, and is a doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota’s (U of M) School of Kinesiology. She is also a Senior Master Trainer for YogaFit and a research coordinator.
“Women need to establish their exercise journey,” Schuver states. “Are they trying to pick up new habits? Are they trying to maintain their weight? Are they trying to keep a goal?” By finding what is unique to you and setting realistic goals – short and long-term – you will get where you need to be.
“We need to get rid of the idea that we exercise to eat,” Shuver continues. Rewarding yourself with health-oriented awards won’t sabotage your progress. Stay away from goals like chocolate or cookies, and find incentives that are on track with your healthy lifestyle. Work for a massage, new clothes, or new music.
If you live in a climate where winters are white from November to April, Schuver suggests taking advantage of this opportunity to cross-train. “In San Diego, you can run every morning. Any repetitive exercise takes a toll on your body,” she says. A state like Minnesota provides you with the opportunity to go snowshoeing and cross-country or downhill skiing. Embrace the winters as your cross-training time, and try various exercise activities. Not only will your body appreciate it, but your mind will welcome the refresh from your repetitive runs.
Schuver also indicates that always having an exercise back-up plan is a great way to guarantee that you keep fit. Don’t allow a lapse in your routine. If your plan is to wake up in the morning and go for a run, have a plan B. If it is raining, don’t let that be an excuse to go back to bed. Instead be prepared to pop in the new fitness DVD.
So, keep your body challenged and your mind interested by leaving the Halloween candy to the kids, keeping the holiday feasting to a minimum, and creating a new plan for your winter workouts. Remember, determine your exercise intentions, find workouts that you like, and train towards goals that won’t sabotage your healthy lifestyle.
Nicole studied Creative Writing and Mass Communications – Journalism. She is a certified yoga instructor and former ballet dancer. Currently Nicole teaches ballet and barre fitness for Continental Ballet Company.