The list of reasons to NOT exercise on Christmas Day seems endless. For starters, time is especially tight; between the shopping, the cooking, the driving and family commitments, we are lucky if we can get in enough time to brush our teeth and take a shower. Further, if you are entertaining a house full of guests, then you are likely feeling a bit of pressure to make sure everything is in order before your guests arrive. From a mental standpoint, skipping exercise on Christmas Day might seem like a bit of a gift unto itself. And, finally, if you don’t normally take pleasure in exercise, the last thing that seems like an appealing way to spend part of Christmas Day is doing one of the things you least enjoy.
Although these reasons are valid, finding a way to squeeze in some fitness on Christmas Day might be the best Christmas gift you could give yourself.
- Stress Relief: Whether you are entertaining Christmas Day, battling traffic to get to your relatives, or dealing with a dozen hyper Santa-struck children, it is difficult to avoid the stress that Christmas Day can bring. Exercising will help you release any stress already built up, and better prepare you for the stress that awaits for the rest of the day.
- Regularity: During the holidays, we tend to eat less fiber and more foods that can hamper our normal bathroom routine. Maintaining an exercise regimen, however, helps to maintain proper bowel function and reduce constipation. Further, if the extra doses of indulgences cause you to bloat, exercising will help alleviate the gassy feeling as well.
- Guilt-Free Indulgences: Let’s face it: we eat a lot at the holidays and not necessarily the healthiest of foods. Making time for 30 minutes to an hour of exercise, however, will keep your metabolism revved and help you to burn off a few hundred extra calories, making it a little “sweeter” when you have the extra serving of pie.
- Staying Energized: The holiday season is filled with more celebrations and later nights than at other times of the year, so our energy levels can feel a bit depleted. Even when we are tired, a little activity can perk us right up and give us the extra boost we need.
- Mini-Detox: Although we might enjoy alcohol, sugary sweets and fatty foods occasionally throughout the year, we tend to indulge in these more so during the holiday season. Exercising is a natural detox for your system because it helps you sweat out toxins. This process is not only good for you, but it will make you feel a whole lot better, faster.
A few ideas to motivate:
- Focus on the Positive: If the idea of getting to the gym or going for a run Christmas morning sounds terrible, focus on the positives and benefits it will bring.
- Do What You Love: Instead of forcing yourself into an activity you loathe, make your Christmas Day exercise something you enjoy. A walk, stretching, dancing, ice skating all count towards exercise. Do what you enjoy most.
- Make it a Family Activity: Get your family or loved ones involved. Maybe an early morning walk as a family could be the best way to motivate. After all, if presents under the tree are waiting to be opened, you might find your little ones are eager to set a good pace!
- Get It Done Early: Morning exercise is beneficial for many reasons. One of the best reasons, however, is that if you wait until the middle or end of the day, you are more likely to have excuses than if you get it done and out of the way.
If there is a perception that exercise represents a chore, I can totally understand why exercise on Christmas Day might seem like a terrible idea, but there are so many benefits to prioritizing it. Do you plan to exercise on Christmas Day? What are your reasons?