Marsh column: Working exercise into the holidays

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Q. I am really good about exercising but when the holidays come around I just mess up my routine until January. What do I need to do to stay on my exercise plan? I am doing cardio and weight training three days a week. Do you think I should add anything else?
A. Two separate questions, two answers.
Let’s start with question number one.
You and so many fellow exercisers run into that problem every year. Honestly, if I would not be teaching my classes, I would not have time through the holidays to exercise ó and I love to exercise! Try to find certain classes or days you know you are able to continue throughout a hectic season and actively stick with those days.
Try to plan your holiday commitments around those times. Your fitness level might be less than you are normally used to but enough to get you through the holidays. Many gyms, weight loss facilities and YMCAs will have programs to keep you motivated through the holidays. Just check with your gym or YMCA.
Of course, I have a program to help you with this! It is a new program called “Y wait” that will start in October. It will hopefully get you committed from October through the end of December. Robin Fisher, a licensed nutritionist and dietitian, will lead nutritional sessions and special classes are developed for “Y wait” people only, to name just a couple of things. Check it out; you don’t have to be a member to join us! Weight Watchers and other fitness centers will have special programs to get you through the holidays. Give them a call or join us for our “Y wait” program.
Now to your second question.
It sounds like you are doing a great job combining cardio with a weight training program.
Do you stretch enough? Like I told my 8 a.m. class members ó we work on strength, strength endurance and cardio, but our 5-8 minutes of stretching at the end of our class does not really work on our flexibility. It pretty much gets you back to where you started at the beginning of the class. I found out that September is yoga awareness month. Adding yoga to your strength and cardio workout is just the ticket!
Next week, I will be writing about yoga for runners. I want to take this opportunity to say that the Blue Ewe yoga studio in Spencer, part of the Green Goat Gallery, has offered classes this month to promote yoga awareness. Beginning Oct. 2, classes on restorative yoga begin. Yoga for children ages 7-12 begins Oct. 4. Call 704-639-0606 for more information.Of course we, and other gyms and facilities, have yoga classes in their group exercise schedules. We even have chair yoga ó so no excuses!
Flexibility is such an important part of fitness and health and it’s often overlooked. Yoga does so much more than work on flexibility … but more on that next week.
Now I want you to get excited about a class or program that will keep you exercising throughout the holidays and add a yoga or flexibility program to complement your workouts.I hope this year you will keep on exercising throughout the holidays and get limber doing it.Contact Ester Marsh with health and fitness questions at 704-636-0111 or emarsh@ rowanymca.com.

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