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Holiday Exercise is Beneficial

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, December 11, 2018

FieldHouse, Sudbury, MAThe holidays are here. Being physically active this time of year can help people maintain their weight or even lose a pound or two. Plus, it can relieve stress and improve health.

Consider the benefits: Regular physical activity has been shown to lower the risk of early death, help control weight and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, some types of cancer, and many other conditions. It also lowers the risk of cognitive decline and hip fractures.

By the start of the New Year, many people will resolve to get in better shape, but it’s not too soon to start now.

Here are some of the benefits of exercise.

There are advantages of exercising during the holidays.

Exercise does take some time from your busy day, but there are benefits. You can use that time to think about what gifts to give, to plan your to-do list, to connect with friends for holiday walks and runs, to reflect and to give yourself the gift of health. Exercise disconnects you from e-mails, phones and screens and allows much needed “thinking time.”

Many people start exercising at the first of the year, but lots don’t stick with it.

People will maintain an exercise program if it offers benefits. So you’d better embark upon an exercise program that is not only realistic for you but nourishes your soul.

For example, if you and your partner promise to go once a week with some friends, you’ll likely have more fun — and stick to the program.

Walking is the most popular exercise and you can get more from your walking routine.

Walking works. Put some pep in your step, find a friend and enjoy a brisk walk ‘n’ talk. Plan it into a lunch hour, or find some other way to give purpose and meaning to the walk. That is walk the dog, walk to the post office, walk alongside your child who is slowly riding a bike.

Weight training is important.

Weight Training through lifting weights, dumbbells or your body weight, stimulates muscles to grow stronger. Strong muscles tug on tendons and bones, making them stronger. Strong muscles and bones mean fewer falls and broken bones.

When planning your weekly program, keep this in mind: Lifting once a week maintains muscle mass; twice a week builds muscles. Lifting any type of weight is better than lifting no weights. A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds, a bag of sugar 5 pounds. So be creative.

Too tired to exercise when you get home from work, and find it hard to squeeze in a workout before they go to work?

Finding time to exercise can be a challenge, but if you really want to, you will find it. Get off the bus a few stops early and walk for 15 minutes on your way home from the office. Sit on an exercise ball office chair.

Exercise is an investment in good health. We all need to move our bodies for health reasons. Take note: You will find plenty of time to be sick if you cannot find time to stay healthy.

Not eating enough may be the biggest problems with most people’s diets when it comes to staying healthy and exercising at their peak.

The biggest problem with diets is under-eating at breakfast and lunch, only to overindulge at night. Fuel by day and lose weight at night rather than diet by day only to blow it by night. Experiment with front-loading your calories and observe the benefits: more energy, less hunger, more productivity, fewer snack attacks, feel better. You’ll be better able to eat a smaller dinner and create the calorie deficit at night. Then you can lose weight when sleeping instead of during the busy part of the day.

For more holiday weight loss tips, contact the FieldHouse in Sudbury.

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