As holiday crunch time fills your schedule, don’t give up your exercise. Exercise burns off those extra calories. It also helps to alleviate stress, while stimulating the neurotransmitter dopamine, which has been linked to post-exercise mood improvement more effectively than antidepressant medications.

Exercise allows you time to focus, and gives you a sense of mindfulness that makes the other pieces of your life fall into place.

The Core

Physical activity is an essential part of any overall health plan, but what kind of exercise is best? Try Pilates, a form of exercise that uses graceful movement to build flexibility, muscle strength and endurance while supporting the body’s core abdominal and lower back area.

The physical benefit of Pilates goes beyond strengthening the abs, back, shoulders and buttocks. There is also the importance of concentration and mind-body awareness. Plus there are no pressure joints. It’s a very safe, very powerful workout.

The Exercise/Stress Connection

The biggest goal is to use exercise as a way to de-stress from the outside world. It’s the ability to use an hour to turn off the rest of the world and focus on the task at hand. You can become empowered while you’re doing it, and it that empowerment is motivation for overall self-improvement.

Holiday Healthy Eating Reminders

1. Don’t try to lose weight during the holidays. Maintaining your current weight is more realistic.

2. Create an environment that supports your weight goal. Keep healthy foods in your home.

3. Keep up with a regular exercise regimen.

4. Eat when you are hungry. Stop when you are full.

5. Understand why you eat. Is it boredom? Is it just because the food is there? Drink water instead.