Is anyone else ready for Christmas? If you are, don’t tell me about it because I can’t believe it’s in three days! The holidays snuck up on me this year! Despite lamenting to Alex that I had so much to do and so little time, I’m actually in pretty good shape; I’ve finished my Christmas shopping so I won’t have to venture out int he Christmas Eve madness. I’ve even managed to get (mostly) enough sleep, stay caught up on my TV, and get my workouts in. When I don’t have time for a full workout, I work it in:
- 1 – 2 minute planks while waiting for water to boil during dinner prep
- 20 lunges per leg while brushing my teeth
- Walking to my boss’s office each time I have a question, even though I’m sure she’d prefer it if I just IM’d her
- Always, always, always taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- When I have time, doing my errands on foot – carrying heavy grocery bags 4 blocks is no small feat. I’d get a cart, but then it’d be too easy
- Calf raises while waiting in line for my soy chai latte to keep me awake after a late night of wrapping gifts
- If you live where there is snow, take on the chore of shoveling the driveway or for a more enjoyable task, make a snowman!
- Kids are always on the move, so if you have nieces/nephews/kids/cousins – challenge them to a race, or play tag, or take them to the park – fun for everyone!
Plus, I’m lucky enough that there is 4 miles of biking built into my day so even on days I don’t workout, I get my heart going a bit. I’m a firm believer that working out should relieve stress during the holidays, not induce it. If you have no idea how you’re going to fit in a 30 minute cardio session in between making dinner/wrapping/picking up a hostess gift/baking cookies/shopping online/drinking eggnog/watching a Charlie Brown Christmas/cleaning for guests, then don’t fit it in. Instead, do some pushups on the commercial breaks of your TV show or turn on some music and dance while you clean. I firmly believe that sometimes watching holiday movies is more important than hitting the gym.
Making fitness work for you during stressful times means you’re more likely to stick with it and get back to a normal routine when the craziness is over; if you cram it in and stress, you’ll resent it and come January, a nice long break from working out will feel well deserved. If you cut out exercise completely, you get the same result for different reasons. Inertia takes over and suddenly working out after the excess of the holiday seems near impossible. So find a way to make it fun and efficient.
Same goes for the holidays in general – if it’s going to stress you out, don’t do it. We don’t have any Christmas decorations up. In fact, we still have tiny pumpkins and gourds out from Thanksgiving. I love Christmas decorations and I’m a bit bummed we didn’t mange to get any up, but at the same time I’m so glad that I haven’t been running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to buy and put up holiday decor. Maybe I’ll hit up after-Christmas sales this year and stock up for next year, so I’l have an easy arsenal at my disposal. This year, we’ll just have to enjoy the handwork my mom puts in to decorate her house!