by Ed Arntson December 21, 2016 2 min read
It can be hard to stay in shape over the Holidays, but not that hard. Really - it's not.
Look, you know you're going to eat some great food and probably have one or two more cookies than you normally do as catch up with your family and friends around the Holidays.
Instead of feeling guilty about eating that cookie or piece of pie, fear not knowing that you will work out the next day - even if it's a shorter training session.
Work hard. Work fast and get it done.
Excuse #1: I don't have time because we have visitors, company, etc.
Bad excuse. OK - this may be true for one or two days over the Holidays if you're running around shopping or moving from house to house visiting family - but it's certainly not true every day.
Bottom line: You've got 30 minutes. If you don't have 30 minutes, you've got 20 minutes.
Well, I can't get a good workout in 20 minutes. Hogwash I say!
Bodyweight circuits, core circuits, a short run, intervals...all can be done in 20-30 minutes.
Excuse #2: It's cold out.
This isn't really an excuse, but rather a statement about the weather conditions. Dress appropriately for the weather or train indoors. If you're a pavement pounder during the summer and fall, use the colder weather as a good reason to get indoors for some cross training in the pool, on the elliptical, etc.
Excuse #3: Well, I'm eating poorly anyway - so I just won't train.
This is a head-scratcher for me. You know you're going to enjoy good food around the Holidays, but elect to not train.
There is a difference between this attitude, and taking programmed time off to rest.
As you set your post-Holiday fitness goals (running a marathon, doing an adventure race, training for your first triathlon, etc.), it's much easier to begin your training coming off a lighter volume of work - rather than no work for a week-plus where you may have had way too much to eat and drink.
There's another advantage to continuing to train - even at a reduced workload - over the Holidays. You stay mentally engaged. It's unlikely you'll emerge from the Holidays in tip-top shape - but your body will be ready to train...you won't need to 'ease' into your post-Holiday training - you can attack with the vigor and intensity that you imagined while downing your 3rd piece of Apple Pie...(okay, maybe only 2nd piece).
I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season. Enjoy the time with your family and friends. I've missed a lot of Christmases over the years and whenever I get to be around for one, I always cherish it. Do the same on your end.
by Dr. David Minkoff
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