Tis the season to be--exercising? Conventional holiday wisdom would scoff at such an idea; after all, everybody knows that the holiday season is the time to relax on our workout schedule, toss the healthy eating aside and let the good times roll. The only problem with that line of thinking is that as the good times are rolling, so are the calories.
Millions of people battle with weight gain through the holidays, and with the added busyness of the season, it's easy to understand how working out may fall a few notches on the priority list. But though it may seem a little counter-intuitive, scores of fitness experts agree that the holiday season is one of the best times to start a new workout program. Need more convincing? Below are four reasons why the holiday season is actually one of the best times to start working out.
1. It can be a great stress reliever.
Along with the boughs of holly, colorful lights and baked goods galore, the holiday season brings its fair share of stress as well. You have cards to send, presents to buy, parties to attend and food to prepare. Needless to say, you may feel a little extra stress during the holiday season, and that is completely understandable.
The good news is that exercise releases endorphins, those famous "feel good" hormones that act as a natural form of pain medication, to help you deal with extra stress. When you stay committed to a regular exercise program--even through the holiday season--you'll experience improved mood and a better sense of overall well-being.
2. It will boost your metabolism.
If there's one thing you need on your side during the food-focused holiday season, it's your metabolism. A regular workout program will help you build lean muscle, which boosts the body's ability to burn more calories even when at rest. This means that when you're digging in, you can feel confident knowing your body's metabolic engine is idling at a higher rate due to the workouts you've been consistently performing.
3. It can improve your confidence.
The holidays are normally a time for social gatherings, and let's face it--you want to look your best when you're working the room. If you're feeling self-conscious about your looks, it can really strike a blow to your confidence, which can turn what would otherwise be a pleasant experience into a situation where you feel nothing but anxiety or insecurity.
Working out can give you a sense of self-affirmation--in other words, you know that you care enough to keep yourself looking and feeling healthy, and you can project that confidence no matter where you go.
4. It will give you more energy.
With all of the various social events and to-do list items associated with the holiday season, it can be both exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. Working out will help you feel more energized and even-keeled, two qualities that you definitely need when you're trying to manage a hectic holiday schedule.
Having a steady supply of energy helps if you have to travel out of town for the holidays as well; you'll be able to manage the whirlwind of events associated with coordinating and executing your travel plans without feeling drained during the process.
As you can see, there several great reasons why the holiday season is the perfect time to start working out. Although it can be tempting to cast any fitness obligations aside in favor of taking it easy during the holidays, the easy road may not always be the most beneficial road to take. Resolve to commit to a solid workout program during the holiday season and it will definitely pay off in terms of keeping you healthy, vibrant and confident for the holiday season and beyond.