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    Avoid These Holiday Traps


    By Cinder Ernst

    Here we are in December, the “too much” month. Too much running around. Too much traffic. Too much family. Too much food. Too much drinking. Too much period. Sometimes just the thought of December can make you tired!

    How can you keep your energy and good cheer flowing in December? Be selfish! Only say “yes” to the things that you really want to do. If there is something you have to do, then line up with the choice to do it and bring your best self. I have a friend who can’t really say “no” to anyone, and she ends up running late for everything, getting frazzled and eventually becoming sick. Don’t do that. Make smart, fun choices. If you realize you’re over-booked, then politely back out of something. Avoid the over-booked and exhausted trap by being selfish.

    But what about exercising through the holiday season?


    If you have an exercise practice in place, you may have to do a bit less this month. The Inside Out Fitness way is to pick what you like best and do that. For instance, if you love bench pressing and you’re short on time, why not try a set of push-ups at home? Or pick what feels the best and do that.

    For instance, if stretching is your favorite part of the workout, then let it be okay to simply stretch. Be willing to break things up during the day, such as doing some push-ups at home in the morning and then getting extra walking in with strategic parking. Do stretching and strengthening when and where you can. Remember, this is temporary to get through a busy time.

    Be kind to yourself. You’ll know if you’re being kind because you will feel relaxed and content. If you are feeling anxious, you might be beating yourself up. Avoid the beat yourself up trap by not doing the “all or nothing” routine. Do a little something all day long.

    Small exercises can give you an energy boost. Try this experiment: Ask yourself what your energy level is: low, medium or high? Then do some exercise like a short walk, 10 get ups (stand up sit down 10 times), push-ups or counter push-ups, deep breathes or another favorite stretch. Then self-check to see what your energy level is.

    I have done this countless times with clients. If the exercise is appropriate, then energy improves instantly. Can you imagine treating yourself to an energy boost when you need one? At the same time, you get a bit of exercise done. Perfect.

    Here is one more trap to avoid when it comes to exercise and holidays. Most people eat and drink more this time of year. Don’t use exercise as a way to try to purge. This is exercise bulimia and is not good for your well-being for so many reasons. Instead, relax and enjoy every bite. Give yourself permission to be human.

    Keep your energy and good cheer flowing this holiday season with small periods of exercise done with self-kindness. Be smart with your calendar. No one wants a stressed out, sick person at their party anyway. Use exercise as a way to lift yourself up and not to punish yourself for excesses of the season. Smile more and breathe deeply.

    Cinder Ernst, Medical Exercise Specialist and Life Coach Extraordinaire, helps reluctant exercisers get moving with safe, effective and fun programs. Find out more at