The holidays are about spending time with family and friends — not about weight loss. It might be tempting, then, to put a regular exercise routine on pause during the season. After all, you want to spend the holidays with family, not at the gym. But before you give up on your exercise routine until January, consider some reasons to keep it up — reasons that have nothing to do with weight loss, and everything to do with enjoying the holidays. There is no room for stress during the holidays this year!
The Importance of Maintaining an Exercise Routine During the Holidays
You want to enjoy the holidays this year, whether you’re celebrating with your whole extended family or just a few close friends. But the stress of holidays can easily take over, making gatherings a chore and even taking a toll on your immune system.
To alleviate stress during the holidays this year, make time for regular personal exercise. Exercise can help relieve minor anxiety, depression and stress, making the whole season more enjoyable — and reducing your risk of catching all the seasonal bugs.
Beyond stress relief, exercise is good for your overall health. A regular exercise routine can help you feel happy and healthy, so you can enjoy the holidays with family and friends. While you may not be trying to lose weight, a gym workout plan can help you feel better overall, boosting your confidence as well as your physical health. It can also increase your energy — a must during a busy season of parties, shopping and traveling.
Schedule a short 10- 20 minute workout routine to elevate your heart rate and improve your strength. Check out these short workout videos from AARP fitness experts that can be done at the comfort of your own home.
You can also try a 9 minute full-body strength-building workout that will focus on flexibility, mobility, improved performance and lower injury risk. Download the free 9 minute strength workout worksheet here.
If you want to maintain an exercise routine this holiday season, but you’re not sure where to start, OAK Health Club of Ashburn, Virginia is here to help you every step of the way. At OAK Health Club, we are tailored to fit your interests, abilities and ambition for a holistic approach to your well-being. We offer state-of-the-art equipment and leading-edge technology to top professional coaches, trainers and dietitians, OAK Health Club, all designed for a personalized experience to help you reach your goals.
Focus on Building a Daily Routine
Integrate a healthy daily routine that focuses on boosting your mental health. Mental health matters, even (or perhaps especially) during the holiday season. And while exercise can boost your mental health, it can also become one more thing on the to-do list. How can you take advantage of the health benefits exercise offers, without becoming even more overwhelmed?
The answer is to stick to your established routines. If you’ve already gotten into a regular exercise routine, keep it up instead of trying something new or rescheduling your gym time over the holidays! A daily routine can keep you grounded as you continue to strive towards achieving your health goals during the holidays this year. If your regular exercise routine feels too stressful (or if you don’t have one yet), focus on the activities that relieve stress and keep you grounded. Whether it’s yoga, running, or even playing outside with younger family members (a round of holiday family football, anyone?), focus on doing things that get your body moving and help you to relax.
Don’t be afraid to set holiday boundaries for your own health, either — if Christmas parties are stressing you out (or preventing you from getting enough sleep), stay home instead. If spending holidays with family causes stress, make sure to set aside personal time to stick to your own routines. Setting aside time for activities that help you relax and destress can be essential to maintaining your mental health during the holidays. Here’s a list of some ideas to try, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start!
Lastly, while regular exercise or a gym workout plan can help you lose weight, don’t make that your primary goal during the holiday season. Your mental health matters more than weight loss during an already chaotic time, so avoid setting unrealistic goals for yourself that might inadvertently set you up for failure (proving even more stress) — especially if those goals prevent you from enjoying time with people you love. Focus on improving your total wellness for a better well being and happier you during the holidays this year. And while healthy choices of food will certainly help your overall well-being, don’t be afraid to enjoy some holiday desserts as well!
Get Creative with Exercise
Feeling short on time? To keep things simpler while school is out and loved ones are demanding more time and attention than usual, the holiday season may be a good time to get more creative with what you consider exercise. Are you decorating your house with lights for the holidays? Christmas light installation can get you moving around outside, and you’ll have a beautifully decorated house to show for it! If you get snow around the holidays, consider joining younger family members outside for a snowball fight or work together to shovel the driveway. You will have a clean driveway and feel stronger once you’re done.
You may already try to take 10,000 steps a day for weight loss, and the holidays offer plenty of scenic options for longer walks through festive areas. Try taking a walk around your neighborhood or through a historic or downtown area to enjoy others’ Christmas lights and decorations. And don’t discount the two hours you spend walking through the mall looking for just the right gift for that special someone! Check local websites for holiday events near you, such as tree lightings or Christmas light walkthroughs. For those who are local, some of our favorite holiday traditions and events for Christmas fun include seeing the lights at the Davis Mansion at Morven Park, holiday themed tea at Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, and the Holiday Park Christmas parade. Take a guided walking tour of Hillsboro’s Holiday Home, and visit the Old Stone School Christmas Market. Another favorite local holiday event is A Unicorn Christmas at Hogback Mountain. Stay updated with events happening in Loudoun County through the Visit Loudoun website.
If you’re determined to combat the Christmas blues by starting a new exercise routine or trying out a new gym and spa during the holiday season, OAK Health Club of Ashburn, Virginia is here to help you feel healthy, capable, and empowered on your path to optimal health and wellness — even during this busy season. You’re always invited to schedule a tour and see what OAK Health Club has to offer, regardless of the time of year! Any day can be your first day back on track to physical and mental wellbeing.