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Exercise common sense

As we approach the “midnight” of the year we might feel more sluggish, gloomier, sleepier and find ourselves eating more sugar and carbohydrate dense foods
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Welcome to December! This year, the winter solstice (the shortest day of the year) is Dec. 21. As we approach the “midnight” of the year we might feel
more sluggish, gloomier, sleepier and find ourselves eating more sugar and carbohydrate dense foods. The solstice is the threshold of winter, a time in the
cycle of nature for rest, recuperation and going inward. Ironically, in North America it is also the time of year of very long “to-do” lists that include more shopping, cooking and cleaning as well as late nights and more social obligations with family and friends. Little wonder our fitness plans potentially get side-tracked in December. However, “common sense” can help us stay healthy. Common sense means good sound judgment in practical matters or doing what obviously needs doing. When we apply common sense to our fitness plans, we give ourselves the best chance of success. Here are a few common sense strategies.

1) Don’t be too hard on yourself. This is the cycle we all know; start an
activity program with great intentions, stumble, get frustrated and give up.
Be nice to yourself; stumbles and failures are going to happen.

2) Stop using your workout as punishment. Try to have fun, enjoy, and take
the guilt out of not having a “perfect” workout. Focus on your overall health
and feeling good.

3) Take a practical approach to your activities with realistic goals. Remember
that rest and recovery are physiologically essential to better health.

4) Stay injury free by training sensibly. Remember to breathe properly and
work on good form not the number of repetitions or time.

5) Be opportunistic. If you have 10 minutes, do something, do anything!
When waiting in line try calf raises, hamstring curls, shoulder rolls or
abdominal engagement. Don’t get caught in the “all or nothing” mindset.

Let common sense guide you towards your own combination of tools, tips and techniques that will support your health goals through December and into the new year. Remember that it is easier to stay fit than it is to regain fitness. Use your common sense to take charge and have a happy, healthy December.

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