Shirley Simpson writes for Everyday Health where you can find answers to all of your health related questions including information on arthritis and how to treat it.
The fact that most people have weight loss at the top of their list of New Year’s resolutions is not too surprising considering how much food we wolf down between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. With feasts galore, family gatherings full of snacking, parties packed with plates of hors d’oeuvres and high-calorie cocktails, and a slew of treats that you need a shovel to wade through, it can be pretty easy to gain a few pounds. Couple that with the fact that we are busy, stressed out, and find ourselves fighting a natural inclination to hibernate and you quickly realize the high risk of packing on the pounds during the holidays. But you can preempt the pitfalls of this otherwise joyous season by simply putting your workout and diet plan into effect before the holidays hit. Here are a few reasons to get started early.
1. Less stress. Exercise is a great way to shed the mantle of anxiety and get back to a calm and relaxed mental space. Believe it or not, the time you spend on a treadmill or sparring with a heavy bag can actually help you to clear out mental clutter and focus so that you’re not running around like a chicken with its head cut off. It can also lower your heart rate, help you to sleep, and increase your overall energy. All of these can be of great use when it comes to preparing for the holidays.
2. Starve off illness. Eating right and exercising will help to ensure that you ward off any flu bugs or other maladies that are common during this time of year. Allowing yourself to become rundown will only lower your defenses, and if you think you can’t afford the time needed to get fit, then likely you will be in an even bigger mess if you get sick. So fill your body with healthy fruits and veggies that contain the nutrients you need to bolster your immune system and get your heart healthy with a regular exercise regimen.
3. Get on track. If you were serious about starting a fitness routine, you’d have done it by now. Pushing it off until later only builds pressure and makes it all the worse when you fail to take on your goals. So quit procrastinating and start now. Life is full of setbacks, and holiday eating is likely to be one of them, but it’s a lot easier to stay on track once you start seeing results than it is to start off in a worse place than you were before (say five pounds heavier than when you made your resolution).
4. Take time for yourself. The holidays are pretty hectic for most of us. Between entertaining, shopping, and simply trying to live our day to day lives, we often end up neglecting ourselves (to our great detriment). Instead of putting yourself last, make an effort to do something that is good for you every day, whether it involves slurping down a green monster smoothie instead of your grande, calorie-laden mochaccino or taking a walk around your neighborhood to look at the lights instead of plopping on the couch with popcorn for yet another viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life. Your life will be even more wonderful when you’re getting fit and feeling good.
5. Be better. There are many reasons to immerse yourself in a fitness plan, but the best one by far is a better you. You can do it for the sake of your family or do it just for yourself. Whatever your reasons, you should always strive to try new things, reach new heights, and make your life better. Starting a fitness routine now instead of waiting is the best way to be the best you.