3 Holiday Fitness Tips

Tuesday, December 2, 2008
The holidays are known for wreaking havoc on our bodies, and to put a stop to it, you need a concrete plan.  It's an easy time of the year to find excuses to eat lousy food and not workout.  Today, I'm going to focus on the working out with these three tips:

1. Book It
If you just treat exercise as something you'll "get around to," you're never going to get around to it.  Few people treat exercise as an appointment, but that's what it needs to become, even over the holidays.  

Not exercising has two main negatives.  First, you don't burn calories, leading to weight gain.  Second, you lose lean muscle mass, leading to a lower metabolism and again, more weight gain.  This is what makes figuring it out in January such a poor option - you've already cost yourself some very valuable weeks.

So make an appointment to exercise at least twice a week, preferably three times.  I STRONGLY recommend doing it in the morning, as the longer you go in your day without exercise, the more excuses you'll have to avoid doing it.

2. Shoot For A Number
Even though holiday schedules can be hectic, there are always little bits of daylight in every schedule, be it for a minute or five.  You have to seize on those moments.

Your body really doesn't much care whether it's done 100 squats in a five minute window or over the course of the entire day.  If you have a day where time is really tight, set a goal of exercise repetitions to complete over the course of a day.  Ten reps here and ten reps there take virtually no time but add up to big numbers at the end of the day.

Squats - 200
Pushups - 100
DB or Band Rows - 100

This will easily keep you strong, or even help you gain strength over the holidays.  Keep in mind, however, that this is for very busy days.  Even though you're getting in your work, the optimal hormonal environment for fat loss is present only during periods of short rest.  Long rest periods can be just as beneficial for maintaining strength, but in terms of fat loss, really emphasize this strategy if things are truly hectic on a given day.

3. Don't Make Time For The Health Club
The holidays are a time when one of the most common images I can think of are crowded parking lots.  The last thing you need at this time of the year is more hustle and bustle.  Not wanting to find the time to go to the gym, find parking, battle for equipment (especially machines, which you should NOT be using, by the way) and all the other stuff that goes along with the health club "experience" becomes an easy excuse.

Workout from home, or find a workout buddy and go do something outside together.  I know that it's cold out - but it'll actually feel nice once you get moving (just ask the women in my Edmonds boot camp - after just a set or two, they're usually begging to open the windows and let in a little crisp air).

There you go.  Simple stuff, here.  Don't "get around" to exercise.  Find the little breaks in your day and do a few reps of exercise.  Don't worry about the health club.  Make sure you put it to use.




mills said...

Fitness Equipment not only works out your back, but also you arms, shoulders, abdomen and leg muscles. A rowing machine also offers a great all around exercise routine
and a fan favorite for sure in terms of gym equipment. It uses all of your muscles without much impact having to be put on your joints while doing so, which makes it very convenient and suitable for all ages.


Dawn Robnett said...

Hi Mark,
I received your card today, thanks! I may join you again in January for one day a week. My question for you is this. You said, "...especially machines, which you should NOT be using, by the way." Why shouldn't we be using them and what type of machines are you referring to? I've used machines quite successfully in the past (I'll have to show you an old photo as I'm sure you don't believe me.)