Exercise and the holidays - FamilyEducation

Exercise and the holidays

December 09,2008
Lindsay Hutton

At the risk of sounding repetitive in my posts, this time of year always brings me back to thinking about my old (and still part-time) job of personal training.

We all know the holidays can be hectic. With the shopping, the baking, the parties...you  barely have time to breathe, let alone find time to go to the gym for a workout! You'll always hear that one person saying, "Just 20 minutes is all you need! You can find time for 20 minutes of exercise!" I don't know about you, but that person always annoys me.

Back in September, I made a commitment to run a half-marathon in January. It seems so long ago that I started training for it, but at the same time, the time has flown by and I can't believe it's less than two months away.

If it weren't for this half-marathon, I would be in the same boat as most people this time of year. I have parties to go to and shopping to do. I have baking to do. And sometimes, I just want to sit down after a long day. But I also know I made a commitment, and running 13.1 miles is not going to get easier if I slack off around the holidays. That's usually enough to scare me into training, even if it means I have to get up an hour early, or go on my lunch break.

My advice to all of you is to sign up for something such as a run, bike race, or even a triathlon, before the holiday season is even on your mind. (Try to find something to sign up for in the late summer or early fall.) To make the commitment stick, sign up for something that requires you to raise money. (I'm currently raising money, and that part is proving to be more difficult than the running....but it's fun! I swear!) These races usually have a recommitment date, and once you recommit, there's no turning back. Once December rolls, you'll be so far into your training and fundraising, it won't even cross your mind to skip a workout. You'll find time for it. Just like that annoying person said you would.

So now that you know my method for working out around the holidays, I'd like to hear yours.