Strategies for Maintaining a Consistent Exercise Routine During the Holiday Season

As darkness and coldness settle in, November not only brings the first snow but also the tempting desire to silence the alarm and retreat back under the warmth of the covers. As the days grow shorter, a shift occurs – our appetite increases, and our motivation for exercise diminishes. This seasonal shift typically kicks off around Halloween, extending its influence until January. The convergence of the hibernation instinct, the urge to bulk up for survival, the cold and dark environment, and the abundance of holiday treats creates a perfect storm of inactivity.

Strategies for Maintaining a Consistent Exercise Routine During the Holiday Season

The challenge lies not only in potential weight gain but also in the psychological need for physical activity during this time. Exercise becomes crucial for combating the blues often associated with diminished light and coping with the stress and indulgent eating that characterizes the holiday season.

To maintain a consistent exercise routine during the holidays – benefiting both body and mind – consider the following tips:

Schedule it and Stick to the Plan:

Set aside time for your workouts by scheduling them in your calendar at the beginning of the week. Treat these appointments with the same importance as any other commitment, minimizing the chance of skipping them. Develop a "no-cancellation-no-matter-what" policy, and choose classes that align with your schedule.

Build a Support System:

Exercise with friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers to enjoy support and camaraderie. Inform your regular class instructors about your commitment, asking them to help hold you accountable. Knowing that someone will notice your absence can be a powerful motivator.

Opt for Enjoyable Activities:

Select exercises and activities that you genuinely enjoy. Remember that any form of movement counts, so find something that keeps you engaged and interested.

Fake It Until You Make It:

On days when motivation is lacking, put on your workout clothes and head to the gym. Convince yourself to do just 5 minutes of exercise, and more often than not, you'll find yourself completing a more extended workout once you're there.

Embrace Resilience:

If you happen to miss a day or more, resist the temptation to succumb to inactivity. Embrace the Japanese proverb, "Fall down seven times, stand up eight." Get back to your routine rather than lingering in a rut, recognizing that staying active in the colder, darker months contributes positively to both mood and health.

As we navigate the blustery days of November, commit to prioritizing your well-being by staying active and maintaining a positive exercise routine. 

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