Thursday, December 11, 2008
I get a weekly newsletter from a fitness website and this letter really hit home with me. It is so true
The time of year for fitness excuses is here... December is probably the worst time of year where most people use excuse after excuse as to why they are letting themselves get fat and out of shape during "the holidays".
So with this newsletter, I just want to give you some tips and motivation to do the opposite of what most people are going to do this december, and get yourself in BETTER shape during this busy season. This doesn't mean that you have to deprive yourself of anything during your parties with friends and family, but it DOES mean that you have to be sensible and stick to your fitness and nutrition plan when you're not in party mode.
First, the biggest excuse I've heard over the many years I've been doing fitness counseling is that they don't "have any time" to keep working out during the holidays.
Ok, I know we all may have a lot of family gatherings and holiday parties to go to during this time, but saying that you don't have time to keep yourself in shape is basically admitting that your health and fitness is not a priority in your life. If it was a priority, you'd make time.
So let's commit to a pact that we will not use the lack of time excuse this holiday season. Instead, if there are days that you don't feel that you have time to go to the gym for a full workout, schedule a 15 minute workout in for yourself at least 4 days/week either before or after work, or at whatever time you can fit in a 15 minute workout at home.
Anybody can fit in 15 minutes... that's all it takes. However, those 15 minutes need to be full of high intensity exercises that work your entire body. Even doing just some bodyweight circuits at home can keep you in great shape.
For example, you can rotate through 5 or 6 exercises such as lunges, bodyweight squats, pushups, mountain climbers, and lying leg thrusts in a circuit fashion, alternating between them for as many sets as you can do in that 15 minute time period.
If you work hard enough, you can get a great full body workout in only 15 minutes and then be ready to go for whatever holiday activities are on your schedule.
The second biggest excuse I've heard over the years from many people during the holidays is that there's no way they can control their eating during this time of year with parties and gatherings with all of the delicious food being offered everywhere. What many people have told me is that the 5 or 6 weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years every year is just one massive free-for-all bingefest for them.
This doesn't make any sense though. For example, even if you were extremely busy with parties and gatherings and let's say you have 8 parties/gatherings to go to during these 5 weeks, that is still only 8 days out of 35 that you're going to be surrounded by party food for only a small time each day.
This means that if you're still eating super-healthy during the 27 other days and also during the other time available on the party days, you can easily still have at least 90% compliance with your healthy diet. If you can have 90% compliance, it is quite easy to stay lean instead of packing on the lbs during the holidays.
The important thing to keep reminding yourself is that the ONLY time you are going to cheat is during the parties and gatherings and not before, after, or for entire weeks at a time.
One thing I like to do if I know I'll be going to a holiday party or big meal is that I plan to get in a great weight training workout within a few hours (if possible) before going to the party. This way I know that my metabolism is already elevated from the weight training and some of the excess calories that I may consume can help towards muscle repair and glycogen replenishment instead of being deposited as body fat.
So I hope this email has helped to make sure that you stay on track with your fitness during the holidays. There are NO EXCUSES. There's no reason at all to wait until January to start on your fitness program, when it should really be a part of your everyday lifestyle.
Didn't that make sense?????