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It’s December. It’s cold, wet and windy outside. In your comfy sitting room the fire is lit, the family’s round and there’s Christmas films on TV. You’ve just finished yet another huge dinner, when that thought enters your head - “I guess I’d better go to the gym.”
It lingers there for a while, as you do your best to push it to the back of your mind, trying to forget that it ever entered there in the first place.
Then you suddenly remember – “Ah, excellent, it’s 6pm, and the guys on the front desk said they’re closing at 6:30 over Christmas, guess I won’t have time.” And so the cycle continues, day after day over the holidays, until you finally drag your sorry butt back to the gym, 15 pounds heavier and a hell of a lot lazier, to try in vain to get your pre-holiday fitness levels back.
Let’s be straight here, there’s no reason you can’t train over the holidays. Sure, maybe you can’t maintain a rigorous six days per week schedule of weight training, cardio, mobility work and classes, as the family deserve some of your time, and after all, it is Christmas.
First up, why train over Christmas?
Be honest with yourself here – are you really going to stay 100% on track with your diet over the holidays? In fact, are you going to bother with it at all? Perhaps in the lead up to Thanksgiving you might try to reign things in a little, but even the most dedicated of souls gives themselves some leeway over the holiday.
If you’re eating more, the least you can do is try to work some of those calories off. If weight loss is your goal, a high-calorie burn workout is needed to stop the extra stuffing and apple pie from turning into excess blubber, while if you’re building muscle, you may as well put the extra calories to good use and pack on some mass.
Secondly, as enjoyable as the holidays might be, there’s no doubt you hit the new year and feel a little guilty with yourself for being lazy. At least if you’ve carried on with some sort of training regime you’ve got a bit more get up and go come January. Plus, you don’t have to experience that dreaded feeling of the first session back in the gym, where it all feels like you’re a complete beginner again, and you finish your treadmill warmup looking like you’ve just climbed Everest.