With the hustle and bustle of the season, our workouts take a back seat to cocktail parties, holiday luncheons with friends, shopping, wrapping and stressing over the perfect gift to give. But now is more important than ever to make your exercise time a priority. It's estimated that Americans gain an average of 10 pounds between Halloween and New Years day and suicide is also at an annual high during the holidays. There is no better way to keep off the holiday pounds, ease the stress of the season and jump start your New Years Resolutions than to engage in regular and vigorous exercise. Morning exercisers have the highest compliance rates so get up a little earlier and get moving. Grab a video or a buddy or join in a class that you pre-pay for. Committing with your wallet increases your chances of getting out of bed and showing up. Strive to engage in cardiovascular conditioning (such as walking, running, cycling, swimming, group fitness) most days of the week for 20 - 60 minutes and strength training on 3 alternating days each week. Treat yourself to daily stretching which can be done after a workout or a hot shower or bath. A weekly yoga or Pilates class will do your body, mind and spirit wonders as well. Join your guy friends for a game of basketball or the ladies can meet for a kick boxing class rather than lunch. Find ways to get your body moving. Every little bit ads up. Even short workouts that are intense are better than nothing. 1 weekly total body strength training session will give you 70% of the benefits of 3 a week so dust off your running shoes, reactivate that gym membership and get moving now before the crowds emerge in January. Kelli Calabrese is the 2004 Personal Trainer of the Year. She is a lifestyle transformation expert and 22 year fitness industry leader. For more information, go to