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Blog: Staying Healthy & Strong Through the Holidays

The holidays are filled with fun, festive traditions that bind and strengthen our family ties, but they can also bind and tighten our waistlines if we are not careful.

This time of year, it’s seemingly impossible to avoid a sluggish metabolism as we indulge in our favorite holiday treats. Adding an exercise program or maintaining your current routine will add some resistance when fighting holiday weight gain.

As if the temptations at every holiday gathering aren’t enough, the sun is setting earlier, making it even harder to find the motivation to head to the gym instead of the couch. But if you begin to develop the mindset that if you just push through and head to the gym, take that walk, or ride that bike – even if it’s only for 20 minutes – it will provide benefits that outlast the holiday season.

In time, you may be surprised how good it feels to move your body and exert physical energy.

I don’t always feel motivated to exercise. Sometimes, after a long and stressful day at the office or in court, I feel both mentally and physically exhausted. I tell myself I can just go home and skip my exercise routine. Even after decades of my commitment to my physical health, it can still be difficult for me to head to the gym.

But I have learned to motivate myself to go, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. For me, every day out of the gym increases the chance that I will want to skip the next day, and the next day.

The insight I have gained from when I skip more than two days is that I begin to feel more of the day-to-day stress from the many roles I play in my life – a mother, sister, friend and attorney. Exercise relieves any stress I’m feeling, it clears my mind, and invigorates and empowers me. It creates a positive mental and physical release that cannot easily be described.

When I first started, I wasn’t accustomed to physical exercise, so this empowering reaction took my body some amount of time to experience. It will take time for you to develop the feeling where your body craves that physical outlet or release, but it will happen. Until then, commit to some sort of physical activity. Don’t worry about the level of intensity until the habit of exercising is strong enough to walk into the gym or take that walk with the least amount of resistance.

My challenge to you is to find an exercise routine that you enjoy and make no excuses to do it for the next 30 days. It doesn’t have to be difficult to produce results. For now, focus on building the habit of exercise. This is creating your “me time” to take care of yourself and finding your go-to that you will enjoy no matter the season.

A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Amy Pietrowski is an Oxford-based attorney at Pietrowski Law Practice, working primarily in DUI Defense, Criminal Defense and Family Law. She can be reached at pietrowski@lawyer.com. View her complete bio here.

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