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Stay Active Through the Holidays

You’ve survived your first hurdle of the holiday season – Thanksgiving! How did it go? I hope  you found my last post on nutrition and eating well over the holidays helpful as you navigated some of the challenges of the holidays. 

This week we take a different spin. It’s all about physical activity and exercise and how to stay active during the holidays.  I’m going to touch on a few things around physical activity here and there will be an amazing guest post inside my Facebook group that dives even deeper into some of these areas. So if you’re not a member already, please head over to Facebook and join Nourished and Content and get your exclusive content to help you stay on track over the holidays!

We all know it – we are supposed to exercise 30-60 minutes a day at least 5 days a week. While we all know this, only 5% of people actually do it. Why? Here are the reasons I usually hear:

  1. I don’t have time
  2. I hate exercising
  3. I look weird when I exercise
  4. Exercising is for people who need to lose weight and I believe in HAES (health at every size)

But you know what – those are all excuses. I know it’s hard to hear, but we all do it. We make excuses about why a recommendation doesn’t apply to us. Once you acknowledge you are making an excuse and just accept it for what it is, it is much easier to move forward and make progress. So let’s reframe these a bit: 

  1. I don’t think exercising is important enough to schedule on my calendar
  2. I don’t know how to fit exercise into a busy schedule and  make it a priority
  3. I haven’t found an exercise I enjoy
  4. I haven’t found friends to exercise with
  5. I feel uncomfortable in my body when I exercise 
  6. I worry people are looking at or judging me
  7. Exercising triggers me to think I need to lose weight
  8. Exercising is hard and I don’t really feel like doing something hard; I’m too exhausted 

Now that is a list we can do something with. So let’s deconstruct some of this, shall we?

  1. I don’t think exercising is important enough to schedule on my calendar
    This is the person who doesn’t see or believe there are health benefits to exercising. They may say they want to exercise, but when it comes down to time, it has a low priority. The Solution: write down 5 reasons why exercising is important. Things you truly/deeply believe. If you don’t believe 5 reasons, go on a search on and find 5 things that support why you want to exercise (or think you want to). Once you have 5 solid reasons to exercise, write those down as a reference. Now grab you calendar and take a look and this next number.
  1. I don’t know how to fit exercise into a busy schedule and  make it a priority
    This is all about planning ahead. Look at your schedule for a typical day. Write down all the things you “have to do.” Then write down how much time each thing takes. Chances are you have way more things to do than time in the day. So now it is time to prioritize. 
  • Highlight or star each item you HAVE to do live. So sleep, shower, eat meals, etc… 
  • Next use another color to highlight things you are responsible for but may have wiggle room – drive carpool, make dinner,grocery shopping, etc… These things need to be done by someone, but that someone may not need to be you. 
  • Now highlight all the things you want to do. 
  • What’s left are things you don’t want to do and aren’t required. 
  • Begin to place the items you have to do into the calendar. Now write in things that someone needs to do. Looking at what you have, is there a spot you could fit exercise in? Does it conflict with something else? Is that something you could delegate or hire someone else to do? Many people think they are the only one who can do things, but there are lots of capable people in this world and I bet delegating is possible more than you think. Can you significant other help with the morning routine while you go for a walk? Can you go for a walk over lunch? Can you join a gym that has child care? Do you have a friend who can watch the baby for you and then you return the favor for her? Here are a lot of options, but I promise you can find 30 min a day to move your body.
  1. I haven’t found an exercise I enjoy
    There are so many amazing exercises out there. It is not just biking, running and weight lifting. Begin to seek out other options. Here are a few: 
  • Freestyle dance (i.e. you in a room with music and that’s it – let loose!)
  • Dance class
  • Water exercises
  • Swimming
  • Gardening
  • Hiking
  • Mall-walking
  • Karate
  • Rock climbing
  • Skiing, downhill or cross country
  • Snowshoeing
  • Online programs (fitness blender is totally free and so amazing!)
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Cleaning with music and dancing (yes, 30 min of this and I bet you’re sweating)
  1. I don’t have friends to exercise with
    Then find some! I know it sounds easier than it is, but we ALL want friends. Many adults have trouble finding people with similar interests. If you search them out, I promise you’ll find them.
  • Do a search for a local group that does the fitness activity you enjoy.
  • Check out a local running or walking club
  • Join a gym
  • Ask other parents at your child’s school
  • Ask a friend
  • Make your own group!
  • Search on social media for a virtual group
  1. I feel uncomfortable in my body when I exercise
    Our society has caused many women to feel shame around their bodies. It makes us feel uncomfortable when we exercise. Too much jiggle here or fat there and we feel like something is wrong with us. Find 3 mantras around loving your body and moving your body that speak to you. Say these in the mirror every  morning, every night and just before you exercise. Here are a few:
  • I am grateful for all the things my body allows me to do
  • I have a right to occupy space in this world
  • When I compare myself to others, I destroy myself. I don’t know their journey and they don’t know mine. I will continue to show kindness to others and compassion for myself.
  1. I worry people are looking at or judging me
    Along the same lines. People feel uncomfortable when they are new to an exercise or just starting out. But it’s OK. Everyone feels this way! I have exercised for decades and have lifted free weights for at least 10 years. I took time off and when I joined a new gym I too was intimidated in the free weight room. I thought everyone would think I was weak and/or didn’t know what I was doing. I wanted to quit. But I gave myself grace and tried anyway. It got better with time and realizing no one was watching me We are our own worst enemies. To overcome this, try your exercise during a less busy time first. Get you feet wet. You can also hire a trainer to help you if you have the  means.
  1. Exercising triggers me to think I need to lose weight
    I personally cannot help much with this one. But this is a HUGE one to acknowledge and then get help with. Many people associate exercise with weight loss. While exercise might result in weight loss, it’s not the goal. The health benefits associated with weight loss when people do an exercise program are often because of the exercise NOT because of the weight loss. Seriously – if you improve your physical fitness and don’t lose a pound you will be healthier. No questions asked.
  1. Exercising is hard and I don’t really feel like doing something hard; I’m too exhausted
    This is brutal honesty. This is why so many people are stuck. We are overextended and exhausted. You don’t need to be ashamed of this. The person who admits this is the bigger, stronger person. Because our society values exhaustion and “doing it all.” The truth is NO ONE CAN DO IT ALL. Find someone you think is doing it all and you’ll realize that was a story you told yourself about them and they are in fact, struggling or not “doing it all.”

    Personal care is so vital. You need to take care of yourself so you can show up in the world. I firmly believe you can not have true wellness or self care without some amount of exercise most days of the week. Ask someone who exercises daily how they feel when they miss a few days. And ask how they feel when they go every day.

    It is a time for you to find focus and balance in your life. To either work through problems or quiet your mind for a break from everything. It is a way to learn what your body is capable of and find new reasons to love it more than you ever have.

    If this reason is your reason for not exercising, I would strongly consider you take a long, hard look at your life and figure out what things are and are not serving you. I’m quite confident you will be able to find things you don’t want on your plate. Things that exercise could replace to provide the benefits I mentioned above. But those things can be hard to say no to because they feel like obligations or require tough conversations. Be honest about this – don’t say “I can’t do that” because the truth is you CAN if you WANT to. And if you want to, you WILL find a way to make it happen. 

Phew! What a post! 

Do any of these resonate with you? If so, which one? What will you do this week to change the conversation and find a way to make your desires your reality? 

Be sure to head over to the Facebook group to join in on all of the fun and support. I can’t wait to see you there. As always, please let me know if you have any questions or comments about how I can better serve you. 

What’s your go-to exercise? What inspires you to stay on track? Leave it below to inspire someone else!

BONUS – check out my totally FREE guide that summarizes this post into a super pretty printable. Head over to my free resource library to gran your download.

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