With the holiday season in full force, we moms are knee deep in shopping, gift-wrapping, moving the Elf on the Shelf, attending school holiday shows, attending parties, organizing parties and preparing for out-of-town trips or welcoming out-of-town guests. Oh, and there is all the other stuff we normally have to do on a daily basis between work, the kids, the house, etc. The last thing on your list is probably exercise. For some reason, our workouts seem to take a low priority during this time of year. Here are some great reasons why it should be at the top of your “to do” list:

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Exercise equals less stress. The holidays are great, but they are also stressful. A daily dose of exercise, especially in the morning, is a great way to get those endorphins going so are ready to tackle the day. Those little snafus and unexpected setbacks that we sometimes encounter will not seem so bad after a good sweat session.

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So much food in so little time. Holiday time is synonymous with overeating. Forget the actual holiday meal—if that was the only day to worry about, it would not be so bad. But there are the parties, luncheons, get-togethers, special breakfasts with Santa, and school functions that really push us over the eating edge. It is not always easy to navigate the buffet of endless pasta, pastries and potato puffs. Daily exercise is one way to keep the weight gain in check or, at the very least, minimize it.

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Getting back into the game will be more difficult. You may already be familiar with what happens when your workouts get derailed for an extended period of time—getting back into the groove is difficult. You lose your motivation, not to mention your strength and endurance. Those push-ups you were doing so effortlessly prior to your exercise sabbatical now seem like the most difficult thing in the world to do. This is why it is important to keep to regular workouts as much as possible so you will not lose what you worked so hard to achieve—including your drive and motivation.

Finally, do not give up if your usual exercise time is filled with other commitments. The great part about exercising is that it can be done anywhere at any time. If you only have 30 minutes or less and feel like you would waste time driving somewhere to exercise, pop in a workout video or make up a routine on your own. No weights? No problem. Push-ups, squats, lunges, mountain climbers, burpees and jumping jacks require nothing but a little bit of space and some hard work on your part. Skinny Mom offers many exercises that you can easily put together to create your own personal circuit to blast those calories and keep you in tip-top shape.

Whatever your plans are for the day, be sure a portion of it includes at least a half-hour of exercise. Don’t let December derail your healthy habits. There is no good excuse to forfeit doing something that is good for your sanity, your health and your overall well-being.