Less stress – move more and enjoy the hoildays

By Dr. Caroline Creager, PT, DPT

The Surveyor

Holiday times are full of “busy-ness” that can leave us feeling out of control and exhausted. Right in the middle of all the gifting, baking, visiting and partying, we seem to run out of time to do two extremely important things – to actually enjoy the special times with family and friends and to remember to take care of our health needs.

We are fortunate to live in an area where our choices of activities don’t go into hibernation during the winter months, but may even expand.

There are naturally winter-specific outdoor activities that depend upon snow; such as snowshoeing, snow skiing and sleigh riding. However, when the snow doesn’t make an appearance in time for holiday festivities, we are still able to participate in holiday-themed activities.

Most cities and towns in the Front Range host fun runs/walks during the holidays – just check the city websites and newspapers to find current activities available wherever you wish to participate. There are snow- and ice-sculpting events around the area even when it requires snow-making machines and tons of ice to be shipped to the events.

We know children are out of school and inclined to indulge in more sweets and unhealthy snacks than usual, but the adults also over-indulge in the special treats of the season while at the same time being too busy to make any kind of movement a part of their daily routines.

Most of us realize exercise and movement are important parts of becoming and staying fit and healthy. However, our physical activities seem to become the first casualties when our normally-full schedules become overloaded with parties, concerts, etc.

We don’t need to take drastic steps to work in a little activity. Now is a great time to stroll through some of the sculpture parks in our area or walk through a downtown area to enjoy the holiday displays and lights up close and personal. Perhaps it is time to rediscover the art of window shopping in one of the nearby malls while enjoying the holiday music that is broadcast throughout the mall.

It is ironic that while most of us look forward to the holidays and all they mean to us, we tend to stress more during these times than during the rest of the year. Most of us are aware of the obvious advantages of moving more for our hearts and muscles. We tend to forget exercise is a great stress reliever just when we need it the most.

This is a great time of year for the entire family to make the effort to deliberately step away from the holiday preparations and celebrations to take a few deep breaths and fit in a little physical activity.

The rewards of taking that time to come out of hibernation and relax by moving a little more will be noticeable almost immediately with a new calm and more energy for the rest of your holidays.

 

 

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