Can I get a show of hands? No one likes to see Christmas decorations out before Halloween or wants to stress about cooking a turkey dinner before the first autumn leaves have begun to fall, am I right? Yet, I was reminded this week of how close the holiday season is as my 10-year-old son broke out the Christmas Carol piano book and started playing. Yikes!
Get Ahead of the Winter Craze
The realization that the holidays, and the food, and the traveling, and the New Year’s Resolutions are so close has me thinking, what if this year our New Year’s Resolutions started in October instead of January? What if we started good activity or exercise patterns with realistic goals for the upcoming season ahead of time? Our health and wellness should start now, not later! Why wait?
In hope of sparking a new trend, here’s a thought for just one resolution as October nears: movement!
If I think about all of the resolutions people make, it seems that more exercise is pretty popular. I will admit I’m an exerciser by nature. I enjoy it, I usually make time for it and I feel better when I do it. But the holidays, and winter in general, can add a few challenges.
Here’s my plan:
- I try to remember that I’m not training for an Ironman triathlon. I’m just a well over 29- year-old mom who is trying to stay healthy. I just want to eat cheesecake and not feel guilty! For that reason, I try to remember that it’s OK if I don’t get to the gym every single day. I do try to keep myself on track by squeezing in a workout at least three to four times each week.
- My trick is to schedule it on my calendar. If you knew me, you’d know if it’s not in my calendar it just might not happen. So there it is, on my agenda complete with a reminder set in my phone. With all the kids sports, school concerts, church rehearsals, and just general holiday chaos on top of the normal stuff it’s the only way it’s going to happen and not get bumped by something like a trip to Target.
- I make it work. A workout might mean that I have time to actually get to the gym (yeah me!), but it might mean I do a little home-based exercise that evening, or even keep my tennis shoes in the car and get out for a walk while I’m waiting for someone at practice.
- Movement is the goal. Activity is better than inactivity, and it ALL counts! Here’s the secret: be reasonable with yourself. Set small, realistic, attainable expectations as you get started. You can always do more! Then you’ll feel great about how things are going instead of frustrated that it’s not enough. I see too many patients who give up on their fitness and wellness goals because they didn’t get to their Pilates class five times last week, or because they didn’t run 3 miles each day like they said they would. I say, “Stop being so hard on yourself!” Find a few things that you enjoy, and you don’t find an excuse to get out of, and just move!
If we can keep movement as our motto during this holiday season imagine how easy it will be to keep moving and stay on track for the New Year! Happy October!