There are so many ways to justify why we don’t exercise during the holidays: I don’t have time. It’s too cold. I’ll start next year. The list goes on and on. And while it’s certainly a very cold and busy time of year for many of us, it’s still important to exercise – even just a little bit. Just to prove it, here are five motivating reasons to get moving – they’ll make all your other excuses seem pretty lame.
Avoid holiday weight gain
Holidays and food are inseparable. It’s a time of year where we eat lots of rich and sugary dishes. All those extra calories add up, so try to keep yourself moving to stave off unwanted Christmas pounds.
Lower stress levels
As much as you like the holidays (or not), they can be stressful. Research shows that regular physical activity can reduce cortisol – your main stress hormone. So, don’t skimp on this free and easy stress-reduction practice.
Elevate your mood
Exercise has immediate and long-term effects on the brain, helping to boost your mood within just a few minutes. Even if you don’t have time for a long workout, a 10-minute workout can make a big impact.
Lower high blood pressure
Our bodies are hard-wired to exercise, and our cardiovascular system benefits when we do. Research shows that exercise can immediately lower high blood pressure – something you don’t want to deal with during the holidays.
Add structure to your day
With time off, travel and lots of social gatherings and feasting, it’s easy to fall of the bandwagon with your health goals. Having a morning, afternoon or evening workout routine adds structure to an otherwise free-for-all time of year.