Training Tuesdays: why I still work out over the holidays

The holiday season is beyond in full swing. In fact, we’re just five days out from Christmas (!!!!!). It can be hard to fit in quality workouts in the midst of holiday celebrations. If it isn’t family events, there’s getting together with friends, the gym is closed for holidays or, let’s face it, we’re stuffing food in our faces. All of these things are, in my opinion, way more fun than working out. As I’ve said before, I am fundamentally lazy and I welcome any semi-legitimate excuse to postpone or even cancel a workout.

Let me let you in on a very big secret: my motivation to work out over the holidays has nothing to do with my health or fitness.  That would be far too noble a cause for me. In all honesty, the real reason that I force myself to fit in even the shortest workouts over the holidays is to preserve my sanity.

I apologize for using grumpy cat but this is what would happen to me if I didn’t work out over the holidays. Instead, I work out and am able to remain in the festive spirit.

We all know that too much of a good thing inevitably bites you in the ass. This is true of things like chocolate, or ice cream, or even wine (not that I would know anything about such things).  For me, it’s equally true of family time, social time, Christmas music, and holiday cheer.  All of these things are great in general, but too much of any of them start to get to me. In every day life, I am able to carve out all sorts of pockets of quiet time for myself but that seems to vanish over the holidays, gobbled up by quality time with the family and friends, countless holiday parties, special dinners, Christmas gift shopping, etc. etc. etc. etc. It’s all just too much.

My holiday season workouts are my only brief, shining moments of solitude and peace. I can take a break from Christmas tunes and play the music I want to play. I can take a break from endless conversation and trying to put on my best cheery social face and lapse into glorious silence. It will sound overly dramatic to say, but I absolutely need this time to myself to survive the holidays. It’s amazing what 30-60 minutes of time to myself can do in terms of recharging me for more socializing, gluttony and general cheeriness.

So there you have it. If you’re looking for a reason to work out over the holidays, don’t do it to burn calories or to appease your sense of guilt. Don’t even do it for the betterment of your health and fitness. No, none of these are as powerful a form of motivation as maintaining your sanity.

When you’re feeling like you can’t possible spend another minute listening to Christmas carols, go for a run. When you’ve grown irritable at everything coming out of your beloved family member’s mouths, head to the gym. When you can’t possibly stomach another second of holiday madness, use that as your cue to work out. Your sanity, as well as your friends and family, will ultimately thank you. Your waistline won’t complain either.


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