True: Anyone who's procrastinated and power-wrapped at the last minute knows the backbreaking effort this can be. Caveat: Most people are using beautiful decorative bags to wrap their gifts in so if this is you, this excuse is null and void.
And then there's the food. Remember when food was prepared from scratch? I do. Once upon a time, there was no such thing as pre-baked hams, turkeys, homemade breads and pies from the deli, apple cider by the gallon, gravy mixes, mashed potatoes in a box, pre-made appetizers, frozen premixed cocktails, and there certainly weren't completely prepared dinners available at the grocery store.
In some cases you never have to enter the kitchen except to unpack the hot family-style dinners. Even if this is not your style, you'll have to admit that food preparation has gotten less toilsome as grocers have removed many prep steps from our plate. Granted, if you are still cooking like you did 20 years ago, then you deserve a break, but if you're taking advantage of many of the timesavers available in the markets today, you'll most likely have time for that morning walk or yoga class.
No need to feel deprived
One month doesn't have to make or break you. We all love the family food favorites handed down from year to year. Should we just strengthen our willpower and forgo the food and festivities? I say no. Don't skip the holidays with all its trimmings -- and don't skip your regular activities with all its benefits.
There's always next year
Do we need to stuff ourselves by tasting every dish and drinking every drink throughout the month? Of course not, but many of us throw in the towel making an internal promise to get back on the health wagon at the first of the year. But to what extent do we want to sabotage our fitness momentum?
It's estimated that on the most food-centered times of the year, we consume anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 calories, which is double and triple the normal amount. Holiday overeating paired with little or no exercise only digs a deeper hole to climb out of when Jan. 1 rolls around. While everyone deserves to enjoy all the trimmings of the holidays, the wise will keep both sensible portions and physical activity on their plate through the end of the year.
Cindy Boggs, fitness presenter, author and Activate America director, has been an ACE-certified instructor/trainer since 1989. Send your questions about fitness, training or health to her at YMCA of Kanawha Valley, 100 YMCA Drive, Charleston, WV 25311, or email cindys...@aol.com. Look for Cindy's award-winning fitness advice book, "CindySays ... You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World," at www.cindysays.com, or contact the YMCA at 304-340-3527.