Why You Shouldn't Wait Until January to Begin Training

Wellness Wednesday Start Exercising now

It may not surprise you to read that many people would rather not try, than try and fail. Loss aversion refers to our tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses over acquiring gains. To many, the pain of losing something is greater than the joy of gaining something. It’s also a common reason why people don’t start an exercise or nutrition program in the last few months of the year (or any time of the year for that matter). Most would prefer to not get started at all in an effort to avoid the risk of failure (pain of losing), although they understand the health and lifestyle benefits of improved nutrition and exercise (joy of gaining something). This time of year is especially tricky because around the holidays our to-do lists of shopping, social events, family visitors, gift wrapping, etc. get so long that trying to squeeze a workout in or eat something besides a greasy fast food burger on the run seems impossible.

Each year in November and December we have people that come in to the gym excited and ready to finally take the leap into fitness and bettering their health. And then they disappear. When we follow up with them, we get something like “oh I just didn’t want to start something I wouldn’t keep up with through the holidays,” or, “I’m just too busy right now” (more on this later). But here is the thing: Why wait nearly TWO MONTHS to begin something- and live two more months suffocating under unhealthy habits and feeling bad about yourself- when you could start TODAY? If you could commit just a few hours a week to yourself and exercise, how much better would you feel? It would probably make that office holiday party bearable, and you might even feel a little more relaxed as you navigate through Costco in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Ok, the second one might be a stretch, but you get the point. Exercise is the most powerful and underutilized antidepressant, so why not use exercise to help you truly enjoy this incredibly busy and stressful time of the year?

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Do a quick google search for “how to avoid holiday stress.” In less than a second you will get about 104 million articles, lists, and helpful tips on this subject. Can you guess the one piece of advice that just about every single one of these articles have in common? If you thought “physical activity” you would be correct. There are so many benefits to making time for yourself in this crazy season, so don’t put off your health any longer because of your fear of adding one more thing to your list. You might just find that getting in a workout makes getting everything else done a whole lot easier.

If you have been thinking about getting into an exercise routine, this might actually be a pretty good time to start. At the very least, don’t put your exercise and health on the back burner for the rest of the year. Fear of failure will keep you from doing many things. Failure is not fatal. Unless you let it be. What would you do if we told you we won’t let you fail?

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