Why You Should Hit the Gym This Holiday Season

Santa at the gym

by Lizzie Meyers

On the often cold, grey days that ring out the year, watching movies all day with a mug of hot cocoa can certainly seem more appealing than braving the blistering winds that stand before the gym. However, don’t the let yourself fall into hibernation mode. As you know, this is the time of year when eggnog, baked brie, and sugar cookies are served at every cocktail party. Unless you have tremendous self-control, overeating during the holiday season is bound to occur. Pair those extra calories with a lack of exercise, and metabolic issues such as weight gain and insulin resistance could come as unwanted gifts this year. Luckily, exercise can help.

A recent study in the Journal of Physiology examined the effect of daily exercise on the body in relation to overeating and found some remarkable results. Participants of the study were broken into two groups: the first of which ran 45 minutes per day, and the latter of which remained sedentary. Both groups upped their daily caloric intake by 50%. In just one week, the non-exercising group showed a drastic decrease in blood-sugar control and an unhealthy effect of fat cells on the metabolism. Though their net caloric intake was equally increased, the exercise group on the other hand did not exhibit any significant consequences to their health. 

What that means? While this doesn’t praise over-indulgence by any means, if you do expect to consume a few extra treats in your holiday future, make sure at the very least to hit the gym. Need some motivation? Try these tips: 

Get some new jams

Great music can does wonders for your workout. It will often boost endorphins, pump you up, and distract you from the physical exertion. Get a new album that makes you happy and you’ll have that to look forward to with every gym visit.

Make it a morning routine

Exercise upon waking, and you’ll feel like a rock star for the remainder of your day. Sure, it might be a tough sell when the alarm clock goes off, but this way, you get your workout out of the way early. Waiting until the end of the day only gives you more time to talk yourself out of it. While it might feel hard at first, stick with your morning moves and they’ll become a breeze in no time.

Find a workout buddy

Gym visits are much more appealing as a social activity. Busy schedules can make it difficult to squeeze in any time to see friends, let alone go to they gym. Don’t sacrifice one over the other, but instead combine the two. Multitasking when it comes to your health is rarely a bad idea.