Pilates reformer

Giving Yourself the Gift of Fitness

Perhaps the last thing you’re thinking about at the holidays is treating yourself. After all, this time of year is known for its hustle and bustle, with endless to-do lists, gift shopping, gift wrapping, and late-night holiday parties. Whether you’ve let your fitness regimen slide a bit this season or are looking to jump in anew, the holidays make the perfect time to give yourself the gift of fitness.

Of course, you can go big and get yourself Pilates equipment for your home, like a Pilates reformer from Frame Fitness, but, especially if you’re jumping back into physical activity, you can even start small by just moving more—by putting some literal hustle and bustle into your holiday.

No matter whether you’re starting from scratch or just turning up the volume on your fitness regimen, don’t wait until the new year to treat yourself. Gifting the time and the means for fitness during the holidays gives you a jumpstart on getting and staying healthy this time of year.

Pilates reformer

Benefits of Holiday Hustle and Bustle

When you look at your to-do list—for the next four weeks—you probably see no end in sight. However, if you think saving a little time is worth skipping physical exercise this time of year, you need to think about how your body responds to exercise and the lack of it.

When it comes to the winter and the holidays, you increase your stress levels even if you don’t realize it. Due to the many parties, traveling, and family gatherings, you may get less sleep or at the very least, less restful sleep, and let’s face it. This is the time of year you’re surrounded by decadent food you rarely eat except for this time of year.

Anything in healthy moderation won’t throw you off your fitness track, but skipping workouts, especially for an entire holiday season can wreak havoc on your body. Consider the benefits of movement and be grateful for the results you get from the challenging total-body workouts of a Pilates reformer:

  • Decreased stress and anxiety: Exercise has proven time and again to be a natural stress and anxiety buster. If there’s any time you needed to reduce stress, this time of the year ranks at the top.
  • Increased energy and fitness: Need to run from store to store in a limited amount of time? If you’ve been using your Pilates equipment at home consistently, you’ve got a good base of mobility and heart-pumping energy to see you through. Although it sounds like you should be worn out, a good workout rekindles your energy instead of zapping it.
  • Increased health: We actually make better health choices when we’re working out. We choose better foods to eat, properly hydrate, and rest more when we’re consistently working out.
  • Better mobility and balance: Mobility and balance support our everyday needs and activities. Whether it’s decorating on the roof or loading up gifts in the car, increased mobility helps us have a better range of motion, and our better balance complements that range of motion by keeping us from falling. Both support our health by reducing our risk of injuries from everyday tasks.
  • Help regulate mood: Physical activity offers a natural boost to your mood and helps to regulate it throughout the day. Not everyone sees the holidays as a happy time, and physical activity not only offers a healthy escape activity but also offers the lasting benefit of a boosted mood.

This time of year, regardless of how you spend your holidays, you may find yourself being generous, such as letting the kids’ bedtime go a little later, eating something you normally wouldn’t indulge in, or skipping your workouts. Out of all the things you can do to celebrate the holidays, one that definitely doesn’t celebrate you is skipping out on your physical activity and regular exercise. If you want to give yourself the best chance of staying healthy and balanced both mentally and physically, give yourself the gift of working out.

Skipping workouts for a month can have devastating effects on your fitness level, such as:

  • Reduced muscle mass and tone: Right when you need to take down the decorations and haul them back to the attic, you may find you can’t lift that box that holds your 10-foot tree quite as easily as you did months ago. When you get back onto your Pilates reformer, you may find the flows more challenging than they had been a month prior.
  • Decreased aerobic capacity: That scientific talk to say you find yourself huffing and puffing a lot sooner than you used to. With just a few weeks of skipping workouts, you may begin to notice that the flight of stairs at work gets you stalled before you get to the top, and the way you hustled in the kitchen gets you worn out a lot quicker than it did just a month ago.
  • Increased fat mass: There’s a myth that some folks love to repeat, which suggests that you replace muscle with fat when you quit working out, but that’s just not true. The truth, however, isn’t any better. You have fat cells—they don’t transform into muscle and vice versa. So the fewer calories you burn, the more your fat cells store, and the bigger they get.

To put these effects into perspective, just remember that the gains you spent a few months to achieve, you can actually lose in just a few weeks of not working out consistently. However, by prioritizing your body and your health throughout the holidays, you can maintain your fitness level and all the benefits associated with exercise.

Pilates reformer

Tips for Selecting the Your Gift of Fitness

Because it’s the thought that counts, you can put a lot of thought into a gift of fitness for yourself. You have two budgets to consider—time and money. However, your fitness is a long-term investment of both. So when you’re picking out the perfect gift of fitness, be sure to make the following considerations:

  • Make it reasonable. Whether you’re new to working out or planning to turn up the heat on your current fitness regimen, make a fitness plan that is reasonable. Nothing ruins the best of intentions toward fitness more than going too hard too soon and getting an injury. Beginners and seasoned athletes alike can suffer from being too eager. So make a reasonable fitness plan that you can balance through the holidays.
  • Remember your reasons for working out. What you choose to do for exercise has a lot to do with your reasons for fitness in the first place. Focus on how working out now gives you a jump start on the holiday sluggishness a lot of folks feel after a month of endless festivities. Remind yourself of what working out can do for your physical and mental health in everyday ways in terms of movement and joy.
  • Consider the long-term investment. When you purchase something like Pilates equipment for your home, you’re investing in your health. Your return on your investment is paid by reducing your risk of future costly medical bills, physical therapy, and the like. Plus, having Pilates equipment in your home can be less costly than a gym membership in the long term, and when it comes to your time, you’re saving time by having a Pilates studio experience accessible in your home, free from a daily commute.
  • Make it fun. Don’t choose an activity or workout you don’t enjoy because it will never last. When you purchase a Pilates reformer from Frame Fitness, you can opt in to a subscription for a variety of workouts at several different levels. You can even choose mat Pilates or yoga workouts, and all workouts stream to the reformer. The variety you get from one piece of equipment helps make the workout fun and exciting because you can always switch things up.
  • Focus on mindfulness. When you stay in tune with your body, you begin to understand your body’s cues better and can sense them sooner. From knowing when it’s time to call it a night to knowing when you’ve had enough of Aunt Mable’s truffle cake, utilizing the mind-body connection you strengthen through Pilates workouts can help you make great choices during the holidays.
  • Be flexible. Yes, a reformer can help increase your flexibility, but we’re talking about your flexibility with time. If you’re a morning person that stayed up late and missed your morning workout, give a lunchtime workout a try. Maybe even work out later in the evening instead. Allowing for flexibility during the holidays can help keep you on track with your workouts.

No matter what route you take, you can stay on target for your fitness goals and still participate in the festivities associated with this time of the year. Taking the time to keep yourself physically and mentally healthy is not selfish, it’s self-preservation. So if there’s one gift you give yourself this holiday season, make it one of fitness and start now to work toward your goals.

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