It was just a few weeks ago that the holiday season was under way. More than likely you started off feeling energized and full of vigor... especially if you had lots of celebrations and festivities to look forward to.
But now, after the countdown to 2012 is over and the celebrations have ceased, all that pep and zest might have given way to sluggishness and exhaustion.
If this sounds all too close to home, then you are not alone. The period between Thanksgiving and the New Year is always hectic. Our schedules get overloaded and we overextend ourselves. So it's no wonder that you may feel totally wiped out by the time January rolls in.
To make matters worse, ask yourself this question: "How bad did I eat?" The bulk of you reading this will have eaten badly (or at least worse than normal) and probably didn't exercise as regularly as you should. Two HUGE variables contributing to that "weak and weary" feeling.
Think about how many time between Thanksgiving and New Years you consumed meals heavy in fats and refined sugars. It's simply the typical fare at holiday parties. It takes a great deal of energy to digest large, heavy meals. Eating this kind of food and not getting enough healthy nutrients will drain you of your energy.
Add to it the increased chance of your immune system being weakened and more receptive to all kinds of ailments, such as cold and flu viruses. And, as I have talked about in the past, even depression.
When you feel like this, the last thing you probably want to do is exercise. BUT that's exactly what you should be doing! No matter how "worn out" you feel.
It's no secret that physical activity is one of the best remedies to combat the after-holiday crash (or any kind of energy/mood crash, any time of year). The evidence is simply overwhelming. One study, conducted a few years ago by the researchers at Georgia University, revealed that even low-intensity workouts can reduce fatigue by 65 percent and boost energy levels up to 20 percent.
To pack the most fatigue-busting benefits into your workout, I suggest choosing vigorous activities that will make your heart work harder than it obviously does when you are inactive.
While you work out, your heartbeat increases and more oxygen-rich blood flows through the brain. As a result, you feel more energetic and invigorated. It's really quite simple.
So if post-holiday "blahs" make you listless, a sweat session may be just what you need to recharge your batteries and rev up your engine for the New Year.
James Cipriani, a certified personal trainer with over 17 years of experience in the fitness industry, can be reached at Jim@JamesCipriani.com or 203-775-5128. Information on his programs, fitness tips and client testimonials are available at www.JamesCipriani.com.