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Why Wait?

I was talking with a co-worker at the Y last week about how our class numbers started to plummet in November, will continue to steadily decline through December and then skyrocket in January when everyone repents their holiday sins and commits to working out again. The question we asked each other is, “why wait?” Why do healthy lifestyle choices have to wait until January 1? Why can’t they start (or continue) in December?

Yes, the holidays are busy and sometimes stressful but that’s just another reason to do something good for yourself. I guarantee that you will feel markedly better if you balance out the holiday indulgences with a little healthy food and some exercise. I am the first to admit that I am all about cookies, wine and festive dinners but I also try to maintain my workout schedule as much as possible. I find I stress less and feel better when I do this.

Here are some ideas for adding a little healthy living to your December.

Sign up for a holiday 5K with friends.

I had so much fun running the Charlotte Thanksgiving Turkey Trot with friends. Races are a great way to spend time with friends and family during the holidays and doing something other than eating, drinking and shopping.

Practice yoga.

One of the things I love most about yoga is that when I unroll my mat, any stress I’m feeling melts away as I focus on breath and movement. Who doesn’t want to feel relaxed and stress-free during the holidays? Even if you’ve never tried yoga, there’s no reason why you can’t start on December 1 and not January 1. I love Katie’s 25 Days of Yoga Challenge and have a feeling I’ll be joining her in her challenge and spending more days in the studio than usual this month.

Cross-train or try new classes.

What better time to try a new cross-training activity or new class at the gym than when it’s empty in December? Maybe it’s committing to trying a new activity each week – maybe you spin, dance, strength train and swim. Or maybe it’s adding something new to your routine,  like weight lifting, and sticking to it for a month. Do something that’s new, fun and challenging.

What are you waiting for? Don’t let the holidays pass you by in a blur of busyness and indulgence. Enjoy them but do something positive for yourself! What are you waiting for?

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Becky December 1, 2010, 6:52 am

    Exercise is my saving grace during the craziness of the holiday season. It’s a stress reliever when I need it most. I can’t wait to run a Downtown Jingle 5K with family and friends on Sunday!

  • Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) December 1, 2010, 7:47 am

    Great post! It’s true- I find myself struggling to fit in my ususal amount exercise come the holiday season because of other commitments, but I’m going to make the extra effort this year! 😀

  • Sara December 1, 2010, 7:56 am

    I used to have multiple “new years.” The beginning of a new semester, a new year, a birthday resolution, for two weeks after all of those new beginnings I hit the gym hard. Then I stopped until the next new beginning, resolved to do it again and stick to it, and never did. For weeks leading up to this new beginning, I would eat whatever I wanted, however much I wanted, because I was finally going to get healthy. Then, last January, my boyfriend and I decided to have our own biggest loser competition. We started it on January 20 because that was the date we said we’d do it, not because it was a new year, new semester, or anything else like that. I lost 25 pounds. I honestly believe that’s because I finally did it for the right reason, I made a life change, not one that started on any particular day or for any other reason other than I knew it was time to get healthy.

    Like everyone, I have bad days in my new healthy lifestyle. But instead of giving up and waiting for the next “new beginning” like I used to, I treat the next day as a new day, forget about the day before, and get back to the gym, back to healthy eating, and move on. It is a much, much better way to live.

    • Jen December 1, 2010, 5:13 pm

      Sarah – thank you so much for your comment! I’m going to email you with a question!

  • Whitney December 1, 2010, 11:01 am

    I agree completely! For me I have played sports and exercised my whole life so it’s just the same as brushing my teeth. It is frustrating for the regular gym members come January when everyone is making resolutions! It is also sad when the gym is back to normal by February. Can’t wait until Thunder Road! Hope to run into ya 🙂

    • Jen December 1, 2010, 5:55 pm

      Whitney – are you running the half or the full? I’ll be out there in my PBR shirt. Hope to see you too – give me a shout!

  • Janine December 1, 2010, 11:38 am

    Love this post! So true – thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  • Krista (kristastes) December 1, 2010, 3:47 pm

    I exercise more during the holidays because I have more time off…AND so I can have second helpings of dessert 🙂

  • Tanya @ Vegan Faith December 1, 2010, 4:53 pm

    I’m just wondering which Y you teach at in Charlotte…simply because the above photo resembles Childress Klein where a good friend/old roommie of mine works. Just wandering if you know her, Amy Hurt! Anyway, I love reading your site!

    • Jen December 1, 2010, 5:52 pm

      I teach at the CK and Dowd. Love Amy! 🙂

      • Tanya @ Vegan Faith December 2, 2010, 9:34 pm

        We do a fitness challenge every month with a large group of woman…the challenge is a certain amount of cardio and strength each week with some bonus workouts mixed in. At the end of each month we have an “accountability dinner” to check up on each other. Each missed workout results in a small donation to a charity we choose each month! It is really fun, and if you are interested let me know! We are always looking for more woman to join the challenge! Sometimes we choose races to train and run together. It would be fun if you wanted to join the group!

  • Maggie December 1, 2010, 10:10 pm

    Kids/family. That is a true excuse for the dwindling numbers in Nov and Dec. I can barely keep up with my work/life/kids….and then try to add all the christmas school programs and decorating/present buying and parties. Something has to give and a lot of times its the runs//workouts.

    • Jen December 2, 2010, 2:31 pm

      Maggie – I can only imagine. I often wonder how I’m going to have time for it all when we have children…I know I’m going to have to give some things up.

  • Danielle December 2, 2010, 3:19 pm

    I really enjoy your blog. You are a true inspiration 🙂


    • Jen December 2, 2010, 4:39 pm

      Danielle – thanks so much. Your comment brought a smile to my face! 😀

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