Picture it! January 1st, 2013. You wake up, drink some water, maybe a cup of coffee, you get an icepack for your head and go back to bed. After you recover from the hangover blues, you begin to make your list of resolutions. At the top of most people's resolution list is fitness & exercise for the new year. You begin to think about getting back into your fitness regimen. Perhaps you've added on a few pounds from all the holiday parties, & now you're thinking about how you're going to repair the damage.
Here's an alternative. You wake up and instead of resolving to exercise, you simply continue the exercise you've already begun in order to save yourself some heartache at the start of the year.
One technique I've learned over the years is to try to stay in shape during the holidays so that after the new year, my body and mind are not in such a state of shock. Whether your fitness journey includes weight issues or not, staying in shape is really an everyday task, just like going to work, and taking care of family.
"But how can I fit in a regular fitness regimen when I work full time and have children at home," you ask. Simple. Fitness does not have to consume all of your free time. You simply have to fit it into your existing daily schedule. How? Think about 30-minute chunks of time, or even 15-minute chunks.
What do you do on your lunch hour? Eat? Run errands? Sit at your desk? How about making an appointment with yourself, or if possible with a friend at work, to walk for just 30 minutes, two to three times a week to start? If that's not possible, how about 15 minutes? How about walking up and down some of the stairs at work, instead of always taking the elevator? What about parking far from the entrance at the mall or grocery store?
Every little step counts. Did you know that current research shows that two 15-minute walks per day equal one 30-minute walk?
One motivating trick is to quantify your progress by tracking your activity. Furthermore, there are new, high tech pedometers on the market that interact with iPhones to track your progress online. These devices are so sensitive that in addition to tracking steps, they also track calories, heart rate, and more. They event count movement in group exercise classes.
I would like to leave you with a challenge this holiday season. Rather than waiting till New Year's Day to resolve to get back into shape, how about staying in shape this year? Rather than letting your fitness goals go altogether, how about keeping an eye on them by walking more, so that you don't lose total control. That way, you'll have less stress come January 1st. Every step you take counts. So make walking your holiday goal this year.
You'll be glad you got a jump on your activity before the holidays kick in, and come January 1st you won't be in such a funk.
Janice Litvin is a Fitness Educator and can be reached at www.ZumbaContraCosta.com