It's the Busiest Season of All
Around this time each year, Christmas music starts to flood the airwaves with the near constant reminder that it's the most wonderful season of all. And I agree wholeheartedly. I love Christmas. But as an adult, I find that it's also the busiest season of all. For me, it's easy to let fitness take a back seat during the holidays.
Heck, after a lack luster performance toward my 2016 fitness goals, I'm tempted to just chalk up the year and start fresh on January 1st. But that is a sure-fire recipe for added stress during the Christmas rush, when I need exercise the most. Worse, that approach will also put me at a fitness deficit going into 2017 and I don't want to start from scratch come January. So, amid the card writing, gift shopping, end of year close outs, and extra family activities and holiday parties that come every Advent, here is my super simple two-part plan to stay fit through the holidays.
Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas in the Gregorian calendar, is a time of great expectation in the spiritual sense for Christians. But the day to day schedule can be overwhelming. There is so much to do and it always seems like I'm going non-stop right up until midnight on Christmas Eve. This year, rather than trying to schedule the hour-long workout I know I won't get to, I'm settling for the fifty percent solution. I'll block off half an hour each day between now and Christmas to warm up and perform high intensity exercise for 20 minutes or less in total. Great expectations, scaled for reality. If you need some good ideas for really quick workouts, try the Official 7 Minute Workout app.
Christmas Cheers (In Moderation)
Advent is not Lent, so cookies and adult beverages are usually in plentiful supply this time of year. For me, however, these traditional Christmas favorites tend to derail my fitness routine. As much as I enjoy both, I find that I am much less likely to hit the gym when I've consumed even small amounts of sugar or alcohol. I'm not advocating total asceticism, but healthy moderation. No one will be disappointed by me having just one drink and avoiding the cookies at the company or family Christmas party.
A written journal to track certain consumption habits is a great way to stay on track with your planned food and beverage budget. Especially when you’re getting peer pressured to try the ginger snaps with a brandy chaser. For some great habit tracking apps, check out this short blog post by Michael Hyatt. I've also tried Way of Life and may test the app Done. The end of the year is a great time to test drive a couple of these tools see what works for you going into 2017.
A big reason I want to stay fit through the holidays is to ensure I start 2017 in the right frame of mind. A joyful Christmas will help ensure that. So this holiday season, I'll try to incorporate a daily short workout and keep the festive consumption moderate for a Merrier Christmas and Happier New Year.