October 2017

5 Reasons to Keep Up with Your Fitness Routine This Holiday Season

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5 Reasons to Keep Up with Your Fitness Routine This Holiday Season

Hard to believe the holidays are just around the corner.  Between the holiday parties, shopping, family gatherings, oh and your day job, it’s hard enough keeping your head on straight, let alone squeezing in some “me” time at the gym.  We hear you!  But you might be surprised how important it is to maintain some normalcy to your routines.  Squeezing in that sweat sesh has benefits beyond the calorie burn.

Give Yourself Stability
My Food Diary reports, “One of the main culprits associated with stress, depression, and weight gain is a reduction in structure within our daily routines.”  If you’re typically able to squeeze in 3-5 hours of physical activity per week, it’s important to maintain that during the holiday season. You’ll not only be maintaining your physical health but also your mental health by providing stability and comfort during such a hectic time.
 
Work to Relax
Seems ironic that physical activity can actually increase relaxation, but it’s true. In a study from U.S. National Library of Medicine, they found that “moderate-intensity aerobic exercise has shown to reduce pre-sleep anxiety and improve sleep in patients with chronic primary insomnia.” What does that mean? There’s a direct correlation between giving your body the physical activity it needs that allows you to rest well at night.
 
Skip the Sweets, Sometimes
We would be remiss to ignore the (sweet) elephant in the room.  The holidays are notorious for testing our self-control by putting every sweet dessert around every corner. Seriously, how do these cookies and holiday candies keep showing up? It may seem obvious, but keeping up with your normal workout schedule will help combat those sweet indulgences.  My Food Diary notes, “exercise can combat the risk [of the holiday weight gain] by 1) expending calories and contributing to a negative caloric balance, and 2) maintain muscle mass and thereby sustaining metabolic rate”. We would never tell you to avoid sweets all together (we are human after all!), but if you indulge in moderation while keeping up with your fitness routine, you won’t resemble the puff pastry your co-worker brought in.
 
Sweat to Happiness
You don’t need us to tell you that you feel good after a Jazzercise class, but did you know there’s a science behind it?  The endorphin high is real!  When you exercise, the endorphins you release can boost your overall mood even after just 30 minutes of physical activity.  Sport and exercise psychologist J Kip Matthews, Ph.D, explains to CNN, “Endorphins, which are structurally similar to the drug morphine, are considered natural painkillers because they activate opioid receptors in the brain that help minimize discomfort.” He also says that the endorphins bring about feelings of euphoria and general well-being.
 
Fight the Fatigue
Ever find yourself feeling like there isn’t enough coffee in the world to help you get through the week?  Greatist reports, “research shows that workers who take time for exercise on a regular basis are more productive and have more energy than their more sedentary peers.”  Keeping up with your fitness schedule can help you crank out your to-do list with ease and even energy to spare. 
 
So, go ahead. Pull up the Jazzercise app and start planning the classes that will get you through the holidays!
 
 

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