By Lauren Denos: 12/9/2014 (Fitness)

Holiday times are meant to be a time of happiness and for many people gifting. It is time to look at your health as a gift rather than a punishment. Your health will help keep you happy.

The holidays are here, and during this time of year people start to bail on their workouts. It may just be that you have a ton of work to do, or because you have family in town, or just that you think what the point is when you are going to be eating tons of bad food.

But really the holidays is a great time to keep up with your fitness habit. Here is why you should stick with your fitness lifestyle and some ideas of what to do during the holidays to help you stick with it despite all the excuses:

#1 You won't feel guilty about that great meal you are going to eat. Most people wind up overindulging during the holidays. Even if they are eating a decently health meal, the tendency is to still go a little bit overboard. When you are keeping up with your exercise your body is able to process all those extra calories so much more efficiently making it easier to bounce back after a day or a week of holiday eating.

#2 Working out releases happy chemicals in your body such as dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. During the holidays stress is sky high for many people. By exercising and releasing more of these happy-making chemicals into your body, you are helping to combat that stress in a very healthy way. This way, you can be in a good mood when the time comes to visit and spend time with family!

#3 If you are traveling, then it gives you a chance to do something different. Sometime people can get into a rut because they are doing the same workout all the time or going to the same gym or running the same trails. Use your travel time to do something different. Explore some new trails, get a guest pass to a new gym. It can be fun to shake things up a bit. Use this as an excuse to explore!

#4 If you have family coming into town or you are going to visit family then don't use that as an excuse not to workout. Instead, ask a family member or friend to go workout with you. Not only will you have an accountability partner, but you will also be getting in some quality family or friend time. Beside you just may be giving them the push they need to get their health back on track.

#5 All of the holidays are a time to be grateful for what you have and if you have a healthy body what better way to show it? I know this may sound cheesy, but it is true. In our culture, many times we are lead to believe that giving ourselves sweet treats is the way to show that we appreciate ourselves. While this is not a bad thing to do at times, the real way to show your body you appreciate it is by eating clean food and moving your body!

#6 Do some activities during your festivities. See if the whole family wants to go play soccer, football, basketball, tennis or just run together. If you are in a snowy area, then you could all go skiing together or simply have some killer snow ball fights. Not only are you helping to instill a sense of health during the holidays, but you will be doing something much more fun than sitting around and you will be getting the whole family doing something together.

#7 During the holidays move around more. Most of the time people get to their family or friends house and then sit around and visit. You do not need to get to your location and just sit around. Move around more, will it do a whole lot of you are just mingling around from room to room vs. sitting? Probably not a whole lot but it is better than just sitting. More than burning any calories it will keep your blood moving just a bit more, which may also help you feel a bit more energized. Even better, if there are people you want to chat with then take short walks around the block (that is if there is not a blizzard outside).

Enjoy the holiday!

The holidays for many are a fun time of gathering and feasting. You should enjoy this time and be able to enjoy some good food, too. Keeping up your fitness routine through the holidays will make you feel good and keep your body working like a well-functioning furnace, which, in turn, make you feel better about the feasting. If for no other reason, stick with your workouts just because of that – how good it feels! Happy Holidays!



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