3 Tips for a Fit Holiday Season
November 27, 2012
No, I’m not crazy. I think this is the perfect time to get started on getting fitter. It’s certainly better than January. In many places the beginning of January is the darkest, coldest time of year. And you’re dealing with the aftermath of the holidays after possibly hosting family or travelling to see them.
By trying some of the methods here, you can get a jump on your fitness program now and build some confidence and momentum by knowing what you can accomplish even during the hardest time of year.
Focus on Solutions Instead of Challenges
You will likely have no trouble listing reasons why you cannot workout this time of year with all that you have to do. I get it. I really do. But work with me on this -- pull out your calendar and ask yourself: “Where are my opportunities to exercise this month?” Map out ‘bright spots’ in your holiday schedule where there will be any available time to work out.
Do What You Haven’t Been Doing
If you have been doing weights before cardio, do the opposite. Using time-based sets? Switch back to rep-based sets for the holidays. Using metabolic circuits? Switch back to traditional strength training. Try faster, full-body exercises if you’ve been doing more traditional strength training.
Changing things up is a great way to challenge and engage yourself at a time of year when you may be feeling distracted or less motivated. Our bodies adapt to that which we’ve been doing most often, so changing up any major part of your program can lead to progress in less time.
Use “Less is More” Workouts
You may not have time for your full routine, so get a good challenge in whatever time you have! Your body responds to the demand of an effort—not its duration. The benefits of an hour of exercise don’t suddenly appear in your body when the clock rolls over from 59 to 60 minutes during your sessions. If you normally do 30 minutes of cardio you only have 15 minutes, then change something (add speed, resistance, incline, etc.) to feel as challenged after 15 minutes as you do after 30.