Christmas is for Fitness too

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Published: 14th December 2010
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We all know that the most festive season of the year is just around the corner. Thanksgiving is past and the best is yet to come. What will this say about your fitness routine?

Not all of us deal with holidays in the same manner. Some of us ignore them. They are days like any other days meaning that workouts, diet and supplementing should simply go on as usual. Others of us use them as goals, getting to a certain weight or level of fitness that will impress important others. Thus extra workouts with a few extra fat burners and an even more spartan diet typify our Decembers.

But most of us are not like that Most of us just use Thanksgiving to start getting into the spirit of the season -- cutting back on discipline, relaxing as if a long deserved rest were somehow in order. That, of course, is to be followed by our New Years resolutions to lose the inevitable pounds that too much laxness inevitably incurs. This of course means missing workouts, forgetting about supplementation and allowing for far too many goodies than would ever be acceptable during any other time of the year.

The far greater number of us are in this third group. We feel that going counter to the holiday spirit of relaxation and good cheer is simply un-American if not inhuman. How can anyone go past Christmas decorations, hear occasional carols on the TV or radio and not feel it their duty to lay back and simply spread the good cheer to others like themselves?

Granted, we all like Christmas and would think it surly to say the equivalent of bah humbug to anyone we liked even just a little. Such would be counter to the good will to all mankind slogans that we have all grown up with. Sticking to a fitness routine no matter what may feel like we are doing just that.

Perhaps being too hard core to say Merry Christmas to anyone is unacceptable even for an Olympic Medal winner. (Of course these people have the tendency to always feel so good that they may exude the Christmas spirit even to their coaches during a very hard workout.) But, really, when we think about it for ourselves, why does being warmly cordial have to go hand in hand with slowing down our workouts, putting our diets on hold or saving up that supplement money for something more important?

Perhaps none of us really think that we are made nicer to others by relaxing our dedication to our fitness routines. Possibly that seems just too magical to be realistic. But that is the way that it feels. Therefore, we cut back as if to prove that we are the good people whom everyone cannot help but like. Moreover, we all know that we have the safety net of the day after New Years when we, like everyone else, can just resolve to cut back and lose the weight that we are sure to accumulate.

All well and good. But, you may be in for a surprise if you trust this normal progression of events too much. All of our New Years resolutions tend to become in effective by mid-February on the outside. Further, our discipline takes at least a week to regain its former intensity. And, we have probably lost significant momentum between Christmas and New Years. In other words, under six weeks may not be enough time to lose the unwanted excess which we are sure to accumulate. That is, we really may find that we cannot return to the way we were for the beach in July.

Consequently, we should all think more seriously about staying with our routines right straight through the holidays. We should think of them as no less important than the brushing of our teeth. Surely none of us would cut back on this in anticipation of a more fitting Christmas.

For further thought on the continual maintenance of a fitness lifestyle order my book Think and Grow Fit.

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