Physical wellness and the importance of exercise while on holiday

Now that winter has left us and the heat exploded upon us, some people find they now need to lose a bit of weight from all the comforting winter food. This is usually the time of year when people start to exercise a bit more, motivated by the holiday season fast approaching.

If you are one of these people, hopefully it will be the start of a new lifestyle habit, where you make physical activity a part of your daily life, for the rest of your life!

Whether you are planning a beach holiday at the end of the year, or just taking some time out to relax at home with the family, remember that this is not a time to stop exercising for the whole month, only to find you regret it in January.

Why you should continue exercising during the holidays:

Weight gain: We tend to overindulge in the festive foods, maybe have a few extra gin & tonics, all the socializing usually includes a lot more eating and drinking than usual. Staying active will help minimize the weight gain by burning of a few extra calories. However, try to keep an eye on your food and drink intake too, as you can’t outrun a bad diet!

Stress management: Frantic, last minute shopping, busy shopping malls and maybe even difficult family members visiting can all lead to a lot of stress at this time of year. Exercise helps manage the stress levels, and by going for a brisk walk or run also gives you some time away from that irritating Aunt Martha!

Sleep: Exercise improves the quality of your sleep, and if you have planned a morning gym class, you may be less inclined to stay up late partying the night away.

Depression: Statistics show that suicide rates are at one of the highest during the festive season. Depression may lurk its dark head for some at this time of year due to stress, extra expenses, or missing loved one who are no longer around. Exercise is nature’s best anti – depressant. Physical activity increases endorphins, the body’s “happy” chemicals and increases a sense of wellbeing and elevates good moods.

Structure/Routine: With not having to go to work, pack school lunches, sleeping in all tend through our usual routines out the window. Having a flexible structure tends to keep one feeling in control and less stress. By planning a set time to do some exercise every day, the rest of the day seams to run more smoothly and structured.

Healthy habits for the family: Exercising together is a great way to spend quality family time together. I always say “families to train together, remain together”. It teaches your children good lifestyle habits, and gets them away from their devices!

What you can do?

Hopefully you are now motivated to continue being active over during the holidays, so don’t forget to pack your takkies, go for a beach run and see the beautiful of the morning sun on the ocean. Sign up for a gym session at the hotel gym if there is one. Go sight-seeing by foot, and keep things fun by playing beach volleyball, or bat and ball with the family.