Wouldn’t it be great to breeze through the festive season with a stack of energy, minimal stress outs and mood plunges with great recovery from social events? One simple key to achieving this is to keep your body moving aka EXERCISING. Don’t feel tempted to let your activity level slide just because you are busy. Exercise may just be your best friend at the end of the year because it has so many great outcomes, especially when you are under pressure.
The human body is designed to move. Indisputable evidence shows that exercise improves:
- Mental health – for control of depression, anxiety, mood swings and stress response
- Energy production – better energy through the day and better sleep at night
- Brain function – clearer thinking and decision making, better memory and adaptation to everyday stress
- Gut health – helping you to recover better from overindulgence
- Immunity – to keep those annoying colds and flus away right when you don’t need them
- Wellbeing all year round – reducing your risk of chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes, heart and Alzheimer’s diseases.
- Weight management – keeping you in a healthier body composition at the end of festivities
- Outlook – keeping you focussed on making better, more positive choices that are helpful to you. Often describe as a “gateway behaviour” i.e. exercise is a behaviour that makes you feel like making other great changes in behaviour for your health.
Keep Moving Every Day – 10 ideas
- Schedule in your exercise, so it is not an option to skip it! Prioritise exercise and schedule the rest of your day around it, so that it happens.
- Walk and talk – catch up with friends, family or work colleagues can be done while getting some fresh air and movement
- Family sports – swim, play a ball game, throw a frisbee
- Pet care – walk your dog, play fetch
- Dance the night away – get active at Christmas gatherings
- Explore nature – be adventurous during your holidays by walking, hiking, bike riding, canoeing
- Take the long way – use the stairs instead of a lift, park the car further away and walk to your destinations
- Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to move at least every hour, whether that be to get away from your desk and do a lap around the office or take an active break while watching TV / being on the computer or phone.
- Get your exercise clothes out – set out your exercise clothes and sneakers etc before you go to bed, one less excuse for not doing it. Take your sneakers to work too!
- Ask Santa for a Fitbit – if you don’t already have one, look into purchasing a device that measures your heart rate and how many steps you are doing, so that you can track and achieve a daily target (better yet – put it on your Christmas wish list). There are also plenty of fitness and exercise apps that you can access on your digital devices to help you experiment and keep track of your movement efforts for the day.
Remember to seek professional advice from a trained fitness expert to tailor a fitness program for you, especially if you have mobility issues or chronic health complaints.