The holidays are known for many things, but a commitment to fitness is not one of them.
With the busy schedules, gatherings, travel and the abundance of tempting treats around, tasks around one’s health — including diet and exercise — are often the “to-dos” that get left off of your list.
So, how do you step it up again after your holiday lull?
Casio Jones, director of wellness for the 13,000 square feet Florida Hospital Zephyrhills Wellness Center, shares seven things you can do to get back into your groove after the holiday season hiatus.
1. Forgive yourself
“The first thing I tell people is to forgive themselves for coming off an exercise program that they had goals to commit to the entire year. Things happen, and the busy schedule of holidays is a common challenge for many, so realize this and keep trying,” recommends Jones.
Another part of forgiving yourself is thinking ahead to what you want to do differently next year. Jones continues, “There are only about three actual holi-“days” in the season; it’s not two to three months. Identify that and commit to this reality with next year’s health goals.”
2. Start small
Getting back into any routine takes some time. If you miss an entire month or two of being active during the holidays, expect that it might take you that long or more to get back to your old program.
“I recommend setting small fitness and activity goals to start that you can realistically achieve; even small victories keep you motivated and confident to continue your path to success,” says Jones.
3. Get yourself an exercise buddy
Having a workout buddy seems like an obvious recommendation, but experts say it’s worth entertaining.
Jones explains that having a workout buddy is a popular strategy that works for several reasons:
- Someone is there to hold you accountable.
- It makes exercising more fun.
- It provides social and emotional support.
- People tend to better maintain focus and reach their goal(s).
4. Make it fun
“When you enjoy an activity, you want to perform it often, so get back into your exercise routine with the physical activities that you enjoy most, whether it’s weightlifting, an aerobic dance class or a walking program,” says Jones.
“Exercise is an opportunity to be a kid again; find your “recess” and make it fun so that you like doing it,” he adds.
5. Remember, fitness is a lifetime journey
Jones advises not to think of getting back into your workout regimen as a short-term goal; it’s a lifelong journey. “You’re always in the game, and you can win.”
6. Quit the unhealthy habits
Your body craves what you digest the most. If you are snacking or not eating a healthy diet, take control. Start eating well again, and seek help from a medical professional if you need guidance on developing a healthy eating lifestyle for you.
“We all know what good and bad foods are; we just have to take the reins and refocus on nutrition to achieve our fitness goals and optimal health,” says Jones.
7. Remind yourself why you are getting healthy
Jones notes, “Health is what we need to complete our purpose in life; we need it to fulfill what God intended us to do.”
If you have a hiccup and derail from your exercise routine, you can do your part again. “For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again …” (Proverbs. 24:16), so that’s what we have to do – get back up to regain the health we need to fulfill your individual purpose.”
And Jones says that this is the unique thing about the wellness center and its mission. “I’ve worked for Florida Hospital for six years, and this is who we are; we’ve got the faith.”
Putting these tips to practice in a healthy, whole-person focused environment
Jones describes his role at the Florida Hospital Zephyrhills Wellness Center as a fun and worthwhile one, having the opportunity to inspire an environment that supports complete health with a long list of programs founded on Florida Hospital’s CREATION Health principles.
“Our education classroom is busy, offering eight to 10 free community classes each month, from healthy cooking and stress management to diabetes self-care and more — we’re very focused on highlighting the CREATION Health principles of outlook, nutrition, rest and interpersonal relationships to show our community how important they are for everyone’s well-being,” says Jones.
One example of this is the wellness center’s full-service spa that offers just about every spa service you could imagine that rejuvenates the body, mind and spirit. “We can take care of you head to toe — manicures, pedicures, massages, cupping, facials, aromatherapy — we offer it all,” he adds.
And when it comes to fitness, there is no activity left behind at this wellness center. “We offer 45 group exercise classes per week, aquatic exercise classes, a silver sneakers program, yoga, line dancing, personal training, Zumba [just to name a few] and 24/7 access to our fitness floor,” details Jones.
“We want people to feel supported here; it’s not just a gym, but a family that truly cares about your whole health,” he adds.