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The holidays are the one time of year when everything can go to pot. With social, work and family commitments it’s all too easy to forget about working out. But with the right mindset you can get your training done and still enjoy all the festivities.

People make excuses for skipping training year round, but if you’re looking for the one time of year when there are more excuses flying round more than any other, you’ve found it – the holidays.

There’s no doubt that with so much going on, it can be really difficult to stick to your training schedule throughout the holidays. But the key is to be flexible, adaptable and to commit to working out.

You’ve put in so much work in the first 51 weeks of the year, why waste week 52? Let’s face it, your diet probably isn’t going to be bang on point over the holiday period, and while you may utilize damage limitation tactics, those pounds are still going to creep on, especially if you let your training slip.

While you may be on vacation this Christmas, your workouts certainly shouldn’t be.

Let’s tackle the different excuses for not working out over the holidays first, then delve into the ultimate short, sharp and effective holiday workouts that will allow you to spend maximum time attending to your holiday duties, while still pumping iron, breaking a sweat and burning those stubborn fat cells.

“Christmas is a Time for Indulgence”

It may be true that the holidays are the one time of year you feel you can really let your hair down, relax, de-stress and forget about work, but this time should only be indulgent if you’ve put the work in for the rest of the year.

If you’ve skipped training sessions, cut your gym time short to get home and watch TV, slacked on your diet and not really given it your all, the holidays are actually the one time when you should look not only to minimize weight gain and maintain fitness, but to actually get fitter and stronger. You’ll have some time off for work, and the gym will likely be quieter, so make the most of this, get in there and work your butt off.

“I’m Going to Put on Weight Anyway”

This is a biggie – damage control. Hands up – who’s going to follow their diet to a tee over the holidays, not go over their usual calorie intake, skip dessert, avoid chocolate and candy and pass up on extra helpings of turkey?

Yep, thought so – no one.

And that’s fine, the holidays should be a time when you can take a break from your usual routine.

However, with all those extra calories and junk food going into your body, it’s imperative that you try to burn off at least a few of them.

It only takes an excess of 3,500 calories to put on a pound of fat, and most people will manage five to six pounds in the couple of weeks surrounding Christmas and new year alone. If you can get in the gym everyday and burn off 500 or so calories, you can save yourself a good two to three pounds of fat gain.

“I’ve Got Family Round”

If there’s one thing that people get more stressed about than work, it’s family. No family is entirely normal and functional, and there are bound to be rows over Christmas presents, fractions at the dinner table and arguments over who gets the last piece of pie, but if there’s one thing that can distress you, exercise can.

Make yourself a much calmer person and be nicer to your family by distressing with a calorie-torching workout.

“I’m Too Busy”

Everyone’s busy, but this isn’t a valid excuse. It really doesn’t take that long to get a super effective workout done, as you’ll see in the section below.

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