LONDON, ONT. -- It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but also one of the most stressful for your mind and body.

“If you’re not already exercising, a little activity will have a positive effect,” says Chris Symons, assistant fitness manager at GoodLife Fitness.

“You will notice you will be able to offset a lot of stuff that comes with Christmas, the extra food, the lack of sleep and things like that.”

When it comes to sleep, Symons says many people tend to have a hard time sleeping over the holidays and there’s reason for that.

“There is a discrepancy between the mind being overactive and the body being underutilized so you end up laying in bed and you’re tired but your body isn’t because your mind is worn out, “ says Symons.

“If you move your body, push some blood flow through the muscles, you can get to the end of the day and have your body tired as well as the mind you can have a deeper sleep and sleep easier.”

Overeating and over-drinking is also common during the holidays. One way to make sure to lessen the effects of all the goodies would be to exercise and elevate your heart rate approximately two hours before indulging.

“When those calories are sitting in the stomach we want to work them through and force them to turn into muscle instead of fat,” says Symons.

“Also when we are sweating we take a lot of excess water out of the body so a light swear it will not only detoxify the body but also it will take a lot of bloating out of the face things like that.”

Of course, it’s hard to find time to exercise when so much is going on, however, even 20 minutes a day can make a big difference for both your mind and body.