The holiday season elevates the hustle and bustle of our lives. Too often, exercise gets sidelined as we shop, eat, drink and celebrate. But exercise is SO important right NOW. Exercise helps combat weight gain, stress, seasonal depression and more. Plus, maintaining an exercise regimen is way easier than re-establishing one. This holiday season, give exercise a top slot on the to-do list.
Here are 7 ways to help prioritize exercise:
- Find your why: Determine why exercise is important for you.
People are motivated by different things. Figure out what motivates you to exercise and embrace it. Maybe it’s weight loss. Or that exercise boosts your mood. Some say it clears their head while others depend on the community it brings. What’s your why?
- Big Rocks Theory: Do important things first.
Exercise is important, a big rock, which needs to be put in the jar first (prioritized) before the smaller rocks. Schedule it as one of the first activities of your day. The longer in the day we wait to exercise the less likely it will happen. You know it.
- Track it: Measure what you do.
Yes, there are accountability and progress monitoring elements to tracking exercise — which can provide great direction and focus. But tracking exercise also has a positive impact on confidence and motivation, which can solidify your commitment to movement!
- Start slow: Increase what you do by small increments.
If you’re just starting to exercise, start low and go slow to be safe and avoid burnout. Beginning aggressively can be a deterrent due to workout intensity and subsequent soreness. Create lasting habits and routines. When you’re ready to take it up a notch, lift a little more or run another half mile, whatever will keep you progressing and engaged.
- Have a program: Know what you’re going to do before you show up.
While showing up is half the battle, it’s also helpful to have a plan. Making a specific plan, like lifting for 20 minutes or taking an hour class, helps people schedule and mindset for the activity — and importantly, it helps them stick to it.
- Schedule it: Put exercise on your calendar and don’t cancel.
Make exercise the hot date you won’t break. It’s on the books, non-negotiable. You need it, you want it, you do it.
- Review: At the end of each week or time period, review results and make adjustments as needed.
How’d you do? Maybe you started low and slow and it’s time to increase efforts. Did you let a holiday event get in the way? Throw in another workout. Ready to work harder? Ask a trainer for suggestions on a solid next step.
Remember, exercise is a gift to our minds and bodies. Make sure it’s a gift you give yourself as you jingle through the holiday season!