Staying motivated during the holidays

When the holidays roll around, it can be harder to stick to a diet and exercise program.

Helpful tips to keep you focused on your health over the holidays:

Learn to recognize your motivators as well as those things that sidetrack you. It can be helpful to write down the thoughts that prompt you into action, or on the flip side, if you miss a workout for example, making a note of your reasoning. Post-workout, or after eating a healthy meal, be aware of how much better you feel about yourself, and remember this for the next time.

Organize your fitness plan according to your interests. If you enjoy exercising with others, all gyms offer a variety of cardio classes, or you can start your own group. If you prefer going it alone, walking, swimming, biking and hiking are just a few of the great options available. Mall walking is very popular as well and a great way to exercise on your own or with a group.

Don’t use wintertime as an excuse to let yourself go. The next time your resolve is waning, put your workout clothes on anyway, including your gym shoes, and get your water bottle and keys ready. You stand a much better chance of following through if you’ve put forth effort to gear up for it, so set yourself up for success.

Cold weather zapping your motivation? Opt for a home workout. Knock out a few crunches, or turn on the coffee pot and do some push-ups against the counter top while you’re waiting for it to brew. Watching TV? During each commercial break, do a set of squats or lunges, or just sit and stand from the couch. Legs tired? Grab your dumbbells and do some shoulder presses and bicep curls. If you have stairs, take them, if you want an added boost in endurance, strengthening and calorie burning, take them 2 at a time.

Common excuses for not reaching goals include not having enough time, being too tired or stressed, being too old or finding exercise too boring. Truth is, if you really want to get into shape, you wont let anything stand in your way. Not enough time? Get up 15 minutes earlier and go to bed 15 minutes later.

Too tired/stressed? Exercise boosts energy, and is a proven stress buster. Too old? If you can move your arms and legs, stand or walk, you can exercise. Any movement counts toward preventing age-related muscle and bone loss and improving balance, even if you lift nothing heavier than your own limbs.

Bored by exercise? Honestly, there isn’t time to be bored when you are working out. Being active instantly redirects your energy in a positive direction, whereas being sedentary allows for boredom and negativity to grow.

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