Life gets a little crazy at times. Especially with the holidays coming up there are tons of things on your plate. Planning all the different parties you have to go to, kids concerts, family coming to town and work always seems to pile up during the holidays. With all these stresses it seems like a perfect time to let some things go. Many times people look at their fitness and health as something they can just skip on for a while and then pick it back up with things are calm again. Here is a quick list of why this probably shouldn’t be the first thing to go.
IMPORTANT REASONS TO NOT STOP FITNESS DURING STRESSFUL TIMES
1. RELEASE OF SERATONIN
Probably the most important thing is that when you exercise you increase the hormone serotonin (happiness). Even in a short 20-30 minute bout of exercise you can increase this hormone to at least mitigate the other stresses you are dealing with. Exercise creates changes in the brain that actually regulate anxiety and stress.
People who regularly exercise but stop for a couple weeks can actually see increases in negative moods and stress because they no longer have their stress reducer in their lives.
2. IMPROVES ABILITY TO SLEEP BETTER
Increased exercise can help the body relax as well as be tired out for the day. Exercise can stimulate extra REM sleep for recovery which leads to a more quality sleep. It can even decrease your overall sleep body temperate based on certain studies which has been known to increase sleep quality.
3. CALORIE OFFSET
During stressful times, most people intake more calories than non-stressful times. Exercise can both increase the amount of calories you burn but at the same time can decrease the amount of bad food you eat. For many people, they feel so good after working out a few days in a row they find it harder to eat bad because they want to feel good.
The extra calories taken in during stressful times can also lead to weight gain which alone is a major stressor for most people.
4. ME TIME
For many people, exercise is their “me time”. This is a chance to get away from co-workers, spouses, kids and all other constants in their lives and just do something good for themselves. It allows them to be in a zone where they don’t have to take care of anything but just putting in a work. During stressful times, these 30-40 minutes can be some of the best alone moments you can get as you are both improving your health, reducing stress to spend time with love ones, and improving your hormonal levels.
5. THERE IS ALWAYS STRESS
One truth unfortunately about stress is it’s never going away. There will never be that perfect time for you to exercise, where life just slows down. As your kids age, as your family grows, as you become higher up in your business, life will just get busier and less time will be available. So expecting these perfect time frames of life is honestly a way to fail yourself as this isn’t a realistic expectation. We will never have these perfect moments in our life to start anything really so we need to stop thinking we will.
Exercise does not have to be 7 days a week. If you are in stressful times, 2 days a week is plenty. One day a week is honestly better than none because at least you are keeping a habit and a commitment to yourself. So as these holidays are upon us, let’s take care of ourselves by getting our workouts in each week.