As fall and winter begin to set in, the weather becomes cooler and wetter and the hours of daylight become less and less. In addition to causing the “winter blues” for some, many factors associated with these seasons decrease the motivation for individuals to be active and stay healthy. According to Bobbi Pavlak, owner of Extreme Total Fitness in Milford, there are several ways to safeguard against the sedentary lifestyle that many adopt during the holiday season.
The holiday season continues to grow each year and according to Pavlak the average person gains between ten to fifteen pounds annually from October to January. To avoid inactivity between now and Spring it is suggested that individuals make a commitment to themselves by setting reachable goals and having an accountability partner.
“In today’s world everyone wants to see immediate results, lose 100 pounds in a month,” commented Bobbi. “Not only is that unrealistic but unhealthy. If you set obtainable goals, say one pound per week, you will see results and progress. The goal should not be to only lose weight but to increase overall health. I like to say, everything that comes off slow, is off forever.”
In addition to the desire to settle down after the busy summer months, the holiday season can be difficult for many to focus on health as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are celebrated all within ninety days. Each of these celebrations are surrounded by food and treats that accentuate each occasion and unfortunately overindulgence can become the norm for many. To add to the mix football season has grown from just several games on Sunday to include Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday games.
“Before you go to a holiday party or watch your favorite team, drink a full glass of water and have a healthy snack or meal,” commented Bobbi. “If you arrive at the celebration hungry, it is proven that most people will make irrational decision about how much food to eat based on that hunger.”
Since most jobs today are sedentary and most of our hours are spent at work, exercise is becoming increasingly more important to health and wellness. Some form of daily exercise is required for optimum health because it helps control weight, combats diseases, and helps individuals to sleep better. Exercise also improves mood, provides energy, and positively affects sex life. When attending a gym, members should go with family, friends or coworkers to increase their likelihood of going on a continuing basis. These partners can encourage each other when they are tired or have a lot of work on their minds.
In addition to an accountability partner, personal training by a certified trainer is also a way to increase accountability and the ability to work towards reachable goals. Educated trainers can help individuals determine what benchmarks are needed for overall health and fitness.
“Our personal trainers help our clients to reach an overall sense of wellness and health, as a result they look leaner and smaller,” commented Bobbi. “We can help them reach the overall goal by helping to break down what it takes to reach that goal in weekly and daily increments.”
One final necessity for overall health is stress management. Many Americans have an exorbitant amount of stress in their lives and too much stress can be very dangerous for overall health. Too much stress can cause migraines, insomnia, high blood pressure, and depression. It also weakens the immune system, leaving individuals susceptible to illness. Proper stress management will help to control emotions and will help individuals to stay positive. Meditation, Yoga, or attending a stress management class will teach individuals how to control emotions.