Let’s Get Physical: Don’t Remove Working Out from Your Holiday To-Do List

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By: Alison Kanaby

The holidays are upon us. This also means life is about to get CRAZY busy. The holidays are a time to spend with family and celebrate, but they are also the most hectic time of the year! And not only that, but they fall during the coldest months of the year. So the question becomes, how do I work out through the chaos of the season?

Even for the most disciplined athlete, the holidays pose a very trying season of getting exercise. For beginners, it can be even more of a challenge, but have no fear, because it CAN be done.

People will ask me how I manage to exercise with the holiday craziness, and I say “I just have to!” Exercise can be looked at as a hindrance or a benefit. Of course, no matter what, it truly is a benefit. I tell people to put it on their calendar just like you would a doctor or hair appointment. With those plans being on your calendar, you’d be more inclined to get up and go. You have your commitment scheduled, so just get it done. For some, this may not be enough. So that is when step two comes into play – phone a friend. Having someone else depending on you to be there usually adds a whole other level of commitment. It’s easy to let yourself down, but to let down a friend? No way! You and a friend can schedule your workouts, and having someone else to meet you makes it much easier to get out of bed in the morning or to meet after a very long day at work.

And then the holiday food… who can resist all that candy and dessert, right? It takes a ton of willpower, which is already usually lacking this time of year. That is where mental strength comes into play and also your workout dedication. If you burned 200 calories at the gym in the morning, is it really worth eating that 400-calorie piece of cake?! It would take two workouts just to burn it off. That mentality makes it a little easier to have some holiday willpower. If I can’t get you thinking in terms of calories, we can always think about it as inches on the gut. You worked hard all summer to get into that adorable bathing suit, are you going to throw it all away now? All that hard work paid off, so we have to keep it going. That doesn’t mean you can’t have any dessert during the holidays. But instead, just be smart with what and how much you are eating. You can have a sliver of pie, but not a large piece of pie. And just not every day.

The holidays are a happy time of year. Fight the chaos and get in a workout. Resist temptation and eat a bit less dessert. With both of these choices, you are bound to enjoy the holiday season even more.

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