‘Twas the season to get flabby, fa lala lala la la la laa, and now it’s that time when thousands of people cause gym memberships to skyrocket because New Year, New Me. Can I let you in on a secret? The same thing is going to happen at the end of this year, and at the beginning of the next.
The moment the festive season begins, gyms empty and stomachs are filled with an overabundance of all the food and drink eschewed during the rest of the year. Does anyone feel guilty about it? I never used to, because I knew January and its renewed gym membership are right around the corner.
This annual routine (or farce) has been around for so long, many of us have accepted it simply as the Way Things Are. It started bugging me, though, and I realised there is a better way of doing things, and that is to either begin or let my fitness regime continue right through December.
December Gym Joys
There is more to starting or keeping a regime going through December. Even easing up on it a little is better than not doing anything at all.
If you are planning on joining a gym as part of your new year’s resolutions, start early, and don’t see it so much as a resolution, but as an essential service to yourself. Why? Well, who actually sticks to their resolutions?
Also, starting early and keeping it going in the face of year-end events, feasting, and frolicking means there is a good chance that, come Easter time, you will still be an active gym member. Meanwhile, all those New Year, New Me January joiners will be back to their Old Year, Old Selves, and getting bigger with every passing chocolate egg. Other good reasons include:
Keeping Your Spirits Up
Working out during the festive season is also a great way to keep energy levels up. Whether you live in the northern hemisphere, and have white Christmases, or in the southern hemisphere, where Christmas coincides with midsummer, you are probably familiar with year-end lethargy and stress.
Beat it by giving yourself the endorphin boost that comes with regular exercise. It’s how I manage to avoid beating my father-in-law when he has had too much eggnog, year after year.
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If you are anything like me, December is a month of spending money. Holiday foods, gifts, parties and the like all cost money, and lots of it. Joining a gym or working out with a personal trainer during the festive season offers you chances to save money.
There is always a drop-off in attendance at the end of the year, but that does not mean gyms close and trainers go on vacation. How do they attract customers and clients? With special offers and great deals.
If you are already a gym member, you are probably aware of how frustrating it can be to queue to use equipment. It’s even more frustrating when someone leaves it all sweaty. Go in December, and there is a good chance you won’t need to queue at all.
The only other people there will be the staff, the trainers, and the dedicated few who have realised how great it is to keep exercising throughout the silly season.
Tips for Happy, Healthy Holidays
Looking at my own experience at the end of last year, I realised that I did some things right, and other things wrong. I’ve put what I learned into a few tips for a holiday season that is happy and healthy:
Choose your treats wisely – stick to seasonal treats such as mince pies and Christmas pudding, and enjoy them only for the holiday period.
Watch what you drink – whether you’re offered soft drinks or alcohol, drink with moderation, because all that sugar is fattening (and hangovers aren’t fun).
Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water.
Time your workouts carefully, especially during family visits – you get to spend time with loved ones, and you won’t need to keep explaining yourself to your mom-in-law.