Recently I saw a reporter request asking fitness and medical professionals why they shouldn’t wait until New Years to get fit. And I imagine they were expecting a lot of talk about not gaining weight through the holidays, and getting a jump on your all new body and blah, blah, blah dee blah.
I do think there is no reason to wait until New Years to begin a fitness routine. If you want to start now, by all means do so. If you think now is the last time you want to begin a fitness program, then don’t. But there are some advantages to beginning a program now:
1. The gyms and parks and fitness facilities are quiet. Everybody knows that the first 3 weeks in January are the worst times all year to go to the gym. The place is PACKED! It would be a lot easier to find your way around and get attention from the staff in November or December than in January.
2. For many, the holidays are stressful. As long as you are beginning a program as a kind and loving thing you are doing for your body, and not so you can tell your aunt to shut up about your weight and pass the stuffing already, exercise can be a great tool to help deal with holiday stress.
3. It forces you to carve out time for you. During the holidays so much of our lives can be focused on the needs of others. Sometimes exercise can allow us to find a little bit of time for some loving self-care in the midst of all the holiday giving.
4. It can be a new holiday tradition. The holidays are a great time to begin new family or personal traditions around fitness. Maybe you and the kids can walk around the neighborhood and look at the holiday lights? Maybe you could spend Saturdays sledding or ice skating. Remember, fitness means moving your body in a joyful way. This doesn’t have to happen on the trail or at the gym.
And perhaps the best reason to begin a fitness program now is:
5. It divorces exercise from the panic of New Years. Oh my goodness. How many of us have fallen under the tyranny of the New Year’s Resolution? How many of us have started January 1 watching diet commercials on TV and promising that this is the year we change EVERYTHING? Then we go out too hard and too fast and are injured and despondent by Valentine’s Day. Wouldn’t it be nice to begin a fitness program without that kind of pressure and panic? For the record, you can begin a fitness program in January without buying into pressure and panic. But it might be easier and less stressful to begin before the entire world goes into its annual body bashing frenzy.
Except it might not be a good time after all. I can hear some of you out there saying that if you have to add just one more thing to your holiday schedule, somebody is gonna be ho-ho-hoping they never mentioned it. And believe me, I get it. So here’s a tip. Take a second to consider starting a fitness program before January. If now doesn’t feel like a good time to start a fitness program, then now isn’t a good time to start a fitness program. There are at least 365 days in a year, all equally good for joyfully moving your body. Pick the day that feels right for you.
As we embark (already) on the holiday season, I wish you peace, love, light and joyfully loving the skin you’re in. Fa la la la la!
Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)
P.S. Want to book me to speak about when is the best time to begin a fitness program? Learn more RIGHT HERE.
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Awesome post! you make a lot of good points. January is the worst time to go to the gym! Just join today and you can have your space, no waiting in line. What kinds of fitness classes do you teach?
Thanks! I mostly teach low-impact/no-impact dance classes based on music from around the world. We have a lot of fun!
Oh cool! That sounds fun!