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Put on a hat and jacket and go for a walk

by NATALIE DREGER Contributing Writer
| December 8, 2021 1:00 AM

It's the holidays — plenty of good food, a beverage or two, an extra helping or two of dessert, right?

Exercise? Bah humbug. Focus on health? Now you're talking like Scrooge himself.

After, this is the season to focus on food and festivities, and to put working out lower on your priority list. Right? Wrong. That's not the deal at all.

For some of you, it’s right up there with finding time to organizing your closet. Who in the world has any extra time for that cardio circuit class when shopping, cooking, decorating, getting your nails done, highlighting your hair and engaging in epic family arguments over trivial events that happened 20 years ago? Yet, you know deep down that you are going to feel guilty if you don’t make time.

Here is what most of you will do — yes, a bit of truth serum for you! You will sit on your butt until New Year’s so you can make a bunch of resolutions to get fit again. If you’re a New Year’s resolution person, you’ll be in a much better position to make a few adjustments to your fitness goals come Jan. 1 if you haven’t let it all go to heck over the last couple months.

Exercise “gives you mad love for yourself,” and during the stressful holidays, can’t we all use more of that? Besides, the one person you can love and trust is you. Perhaps a healthier way to walk, skip, jump through the year — holiday season or not — would be to focus your efforts on eating healthy whole foods and less man-made processed chemistry projects. Trust me. You will feel less fatigued, deprived and cranky. You will find the time and make the effort when you learn how to manage your time and put yourself first. It’s worth it.

Learn how to say “no” — no to crappy food, no to your relatives, no to the annual fudge bakeoff. And “yes” to a healthier you, especially during the holidays. Remember, you get to decide which activities are enjoyable and meaningful enough to justify the time they take.

This is a great time to wean yourself away from television if it’s getting to be too much of a habit. And do not go running to the internet instead.

Put on a hat, gloves and a jacket and head out for a walk. Or if it’s night time — and you are afraid of the “boogie-man” (like me), then stay in where you feel safe and get on the floor and do some crunches, leg raises, squats, etc. You already have a “gym” at your feet. Enjoy your holidays — and don’t eat too much.

Natalie Dreger is a certified fitness professional, and can be reached at nataliedreger.com.

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