Cure Your Post-Holiday Blues with these Simple Tricks

“My body's old but it ain't impaired. Well I don't need your rockin' chair.”

-George Jones

It’s a new year, and once again many of us will make resolutions to lose weight and get healthy. Some of us will invest in fitness club memberships or expensive home exercise machines. Some of us will go on a (another?) diet. Some of us will declare our intention to get fit to any and all who will listen because sometimes just talking about doing something—as opposed to actually doing something—is enough.

New Year’s resolutions are infamous for being short-lived, and so you soon find yourself on the couch, under the blankets watching TV and eating the last of the Christmas cookies because it’s just too cold and dreary to get motivated to move. And you can’t even find your new Proton X-Flex BRX 5000 exercise trainer, since it’s become a coatrack.

There are three simple things most of us can do to improve and maintain our health and stay active this winter—watch what we eat, get seven to eight hours sleep each night, and exercise regularly. So, put down the cookies, confine your sleeping to your bed and get up off that couch. Yep, it’s that simple.

Oh, hang on, are you hung up on the exercise part? Well, you shouldn’t be. A few minutes of exercise every day, or every other day, or three times a week—whatever you do—will improve your stamina and strength a make you feel better.

Forget the Proton X-Flex BRX 5000, just turn on some music and dance around the house for a few minutes; it’s fun and healthy. According to Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center, in 15 minutes of dancing (four to five songs) a 150-pound person can burn 95 calories. There you go, you just burnt off that cheeseburger from last night.

Or head to the mall and start walking. It’s a good, warm place to exercise, especially in the morning before many customers arrive. Maybe you even reward yourself with a Latte Macchiato at the end.

Or walk outside, if you have a good place for it. The fresh, cold air will invigorate you. And since it’s cold, and not sweltering, you can probably stay out longer and burn more calories.

Join a local fitness club; they’ll show you how to use the equipment and at a level that’s right for your age and condition. The company of other exercisers may inspire you.

Yoga keeps you limber and strong. Find a You Tube video and practice at home or join a class.

Go for a swim (indoor pool recommended).

Are there still leaves in the yard? Has snow covered the driveway? Get up and hop to it, provided you’re in good enough shape. Yardwork, housework, yes, all that counts as exercise.

If you haven’t been exercising, see your doctor first, then start slowly, increasing exercise by a few minutes each session. You’ll sleep better, feel better, and look better. For more information, check the websites listed below.

Don’t let winter get you down. Get up. Get out. Get fit!

Steve Plantz