The holidays and New Year are upon us once again! You know what that means; shopping, traveling, family visits, and of course all the lovely (and naughty) food and drinks you can imagine. It’s an undoubtedly busy and fairly stressful time of the year. So much to do on top of all our normal daily responsibilities is tough to keep up. Plus we want AND need some time to sit down and put our feet up to relax. So the big question for all of us is how are we supposed to keep all these awesome fitness gains going that we’ve been working so hard for amidst all the holiday madness? I’ll tell you it’s not that difficult but it might take a little extra effort.
Our first step is simple, plan ahead. We all have priorities that are nonnegotiable in our lives. We have to go to work, pick up the baby from daycare, cook and/or eat dinner, wash the dishes, take the trash out, the list goes on and on! There’s a lot to keep track of and adding holiday shopping, gift wrapping, decorating, and planning or attending holiday gatherings can pile up and diminish a lot of your time. Try keeping a list of all these things. Knowing what you have to do and when can be incredibly helpful. That paired with doing a little extra work NOW in order to make your life easier later on will help set you up for success and could possibly even reveal some time that you have each day to sneak a workout in. Trust me, I always wish there was more time in the day. However, we can always look back and see that there is more time that we could have been more productive with.
Okay, so we’ve planned ahead. We’ve worked out our schedule and used any free time wisely. But any extra time we have to get some fitness in lies outside of gym hours. To be he honest, especially during this time, this might be more likely than not. If you find yourself unable to make it into the gym, I suggest you try and do something good for yourself. Whether that’s hitting a short intense workout of burpees, push-ups, and air squats in your living room, making sure your meals are planned, prepped, and healthy a day in advance, or even just stretching while you watch some TV before you go to bed. The goal being to try for something healthy each day. Doing something is always better than doing nothing.
Now it goes without saying, motivation (or lack thereof if we are being honest with ourselves) can play a large role during this time of year. We all enjoy the community aspect of our classes at PR Star. Our WODs are tough but we get through them together. It’s definitely hard to motivate yourself when you don’t have your workout buddy or a gym full of classmates and your favorite coach there to keep you invested. The biggest piece I’ll tell you here is that this time is short and won’t last forever. If you hit a workout alone and/or outside of the gym, sure it may not be as intense, but it’s far better than doing nothing at all. Again, doing a little extra now might make your life a bit easier later on.
Lastly, and this one is important! Please, don’t be afraid to cut yourself a break. I for one like to savor this magical and happy time of year. We get to celebrate family, friendship, and new beginnings. If you don’t make it in to work out for a few days, you really won’t be losing much, if anything at all. The physical abilities that you’ve worked hard for will stay with you longer than you think. Your first workout or two once you get back in it may be tougher and you’ll be a little more sore than normal. But don’t hesitate to have that slice of pie, go out for a drink with a friend who’s in town, or stay up late to watch your favorite holiday movie, it’s worth it. Of course I’m not saying take an entire month off and throw caution to the wind, but our fitness journeys should not keep us from enjoying ourselves, especially during the holidays. Just do something here and there when you have made the time. Remember, your routine will be kept up as best as possible and be up and running, maybe even recharged a little, before long!