I find it interesting how we are all encouraged to over-indulge during multiple holidays from October to December only to be bombarded with weight loss and fitness ads come January 1.
To me, it makes so much more sense to continue on with the same healthy habits I follow the other nine months of the year and to build new ones than to throw everything out of the window between Canadian Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.
I still have treats, and there are days when all of my exercise comes in the form of long – or even not so long – walks. With that being said, I do my best to stick to my regular habits as much as possible no matter what the date on the calendar says and to start my New Year’s Resolution a few weeks ahead of time for the following reasons.
Building Habits Takes Time
Any lifestyle change takes time not only to turn into a habit but to preserve as a normal part of one’s routines.
Starting (or continuing) now will give you a head start on everyone making similar resolutions in a few weeks.
I don’t know about all of you, but I find it easier to stick to small changes in my daily habits if I begin them a few weeks before everyone starts talking about what they want to change about themselves or their lives in the new year.
Fitness isn’t a competition, but there’s something motivating about starting early to me. I like the feeling of already settling into the rhythm of a new habit before it becomes a common topic of conversation in my social circles. It’s not about winning. It’s about having the self-discipline to think about these things in advance and seeing what I can accomplish early on.
Many Different Types of Exercise to Try
Will you be dancing? Lifting weights? Walking in a winter wonderland? Riding a stationary bike? Jogging? Playing sports? Something else?
What equipment will you need to purchase or borrow, if any?
What special workout clothing will you need to purchase or borrow, if any?
Which part of your home, yard, or neighbourhood will you be exercising in? If it’s property you own, does anything need to be spruced up or organized beforehand?
I prefer to keep things as simple as possible, especially when I’m trying something new out and have no idea if I’ll stick with that form of exercise in the longterm.
Whether you have a long list of things to accomplish before your first workout or you’re like me and prefer to wing it, these are considerations to start thinking about now.
It’s Great Stress Relief
The holiday season can be a stressful time of year for many of us no matter what we’re celebrating.
One of the things I enjoy the most about sticking to a workout plan as much as possible and trying new forms of exercise when I can is the sense of relief I feel from these activities.
Working out is a chance to turn my brain off and live in the moment. Nothing else matter except that next dance move, yoga pose, kilometre walked, or set completed.
My goal is to get at least thirty minutes of exercise a day, but sometimes I extend a session or go out for another walk simply for the chance to focus on the way my body feels in those moments.
It’s often exhilarating.
If you make fitness-based New Year’s Resolutions, what goals will you be setting for this winter?