Stay on track with physical fitness during holidays
Paityn Holder, of the Directorate of Public Works, uses a treadmill Oct. 10 in the Garrison fitness center (Photo Credit: Skip Vaughn) VIEW ORIGINAL

During the holiday season, the already challenging endeavor of making time for fitness becomes even more difficult. From Thanksgiving through Christmas and New Year’s, it’s easy to overindulge in holiday goodies and neglect your fitness goals. By the time the new year rolls around, many find themselves making new resolutions on fitness.

Lori Ciranni, director of sports, fitness and aquatics, for Garrison’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Directorate, said people can skip that cycle. There is no need to wait for your New Year’s resolutions to get back on track.

Physical fitness is a state of health and well-being and the ability to perform aspects of sports, work and daily activities. It is also about maintaining physical resiliency and striving to maintain a healthy body, Ciranni said.

“It is important to set goals, track your progress and have rewards,” she said. “Setting goals gives you something to reach for. Just be sure not to make them unrealistic. Tracking your progress will help you see the benefits and keep you going. Everyone likes rewards. If you stay on track, you deserve to reward yourself. Try to remember ‘life happens’ and we all have difficulties. Just keep the goal in sight.”

Ciranni emphasizes you don’t have to choose the gym over cookie-making with the family to stay fit. She offers some simple tips to maintain your fitness while enjoying the holiday cheer:

·      Schedule workouts in your calendar. Scheduling is very important. This is a way of moving everything else you have aside to ensure you have time for you and your workout.

·      \Find creative ways to be active. The Internet is an amazing source for staying active. There are all kinds of information out there for any kind of workout for any age group and fitness level. Although they don’t offer personal training anymore at the MWR facilities, they are still available to answer questions.

·      Try to squeeze in some activity. Any movement is better than none. Ten minutes here and 10 minutes there can add up. If you sit at a desk, just getting up and walking around your office every hour can help you not only with circulation and fitness but it helps clear your mind.

·      Partner up and work out with a friend for accountability. For some people, accountability is everything. Too often, after work or anytime, we can talk ourselves out of exercising but if you know someone is waiting on you, you are more apt to show up.

·      Stick to a fitness plan. Sticking to a routine is the best way to work out. It’s easier to get motivated if you know exactly what you plan to do that day or that week. If you can get to two weeks of working out, you’ll generally see results from your hard work and that will help you stay motivated.

·      Find alternative workout opportunities. If your own gym is closed during the holidays, go outside. There are numerous trails on the Arsenal or in our communities. If the weather doesn’t permit going outside, put on a fitness channel in your living room or somewhere in your house. There are so many free options on the Internet these days. It’s hard to have any kind of excuse for not working out.

·      Hydrate well and eat sensibly. They are both important to staying fit. Staying hydrated not only makes you feel full and not eat as much, but it also helps with physical and mental performance. Eating healthy has many benefits. It gives you energy and helps with your mood. You won’t feel sluggish and talk yourself into sitting on the couch.

·      Make sleep a priority. Sleep is a huge part of fitness. It allows your body to recover from previous activity. It also allows your muscles time to repair and keeps you from feeling fatigued. No one wants to work out when they haven’t slept well. Often after work, we are mentally tired. If you just convince yourself to work out, it will help you sleep because you are not only physically tired but it helps your mind relax.

Ciranni reminds everyone that MWR facilities offer multiple fitness options during the holiday season and year-round. Now is the perfect time to begin a fitness routine. She and her team are eager to help patrons reach their fitness goals.

“Come and see us during our operational hours with any fitness questions you may have,” she said. “The Col. Scott Fitness Center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can get registered at this facility Monday through Thursday, 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can also get registered at Pagano Gym, Monday through Thursday, 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please be aware sometimes the Col. Scott facility is unmanned during those hours, too. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season.”