Trainers and coaches in every gym begin to see the slide among members starting in the middle of October; the cycle is predictable… and it goes a little like this…
September: Summer ends, routine resumes, school and extracurricular activities start – we’re off like a shot – on an adrenaline high – in the gym, working hard, running kids, getting sh#t done – look at us go!!! We are SUPERSTARS!!!
October: And then, September exhaustion hits families full force, the leaves die as cooler weather comes, winter-dread starts and Halloween is a nice distraction, so we eat our body weight in bite size candy.
November: Flu season kicks up (sugar depresses the immune system) Thanks for nothin’, Halloween… and the snow typically arrives. It gets dark earlier at night and we start to feel the primal urge to carb load, be lazy and sleep in longer in the morning.
December: Christmas is fast approaching. In addition to school, hockey, ringette and Jujitsu, we now add parties, concerts, Christmas shopping and holiday preparation (including baking) and our workouts and personal health time slides into the toilet.
January: We hit the gym with renewed commitment and a bit of self-punishment as any progress we made last year got lost somewhere between October and December – we curse ourselves for the 10 extra pounds of egg nog and shortbread we carry that makes our workouts hard and our endurance suck.
February: You’ve dropped the Christmas bloat and are starting to see your ‘old, happy, gym self’ when you look in the mirror. You VOW never again to let yourself slide like you did this holiday season and decide to kick your self-care / nutrition / weight loss up a notch.
March: We can hardly take it (snow) anymore. We have cabin fever and winter rage and are desperate for the snow to melt and the trees to bud. On the upside, we’ve started to push ourselves a bit harder in the gym – afterall, the Mayan Riviera is waiting for us at the end of the month and we are almost bikini ready.
April: Easter and a week at an all inclusive finds our kids sick (AGAIN) and tight pants pulling at the waist. But the days are getting longer and we’ve got spring fever. We’re ready for bikes and boats and holiday trailers and have moved into crazed fitness fiend in preparation to enjoy EVERY. DAMN. SECOND. OF. DAYLIGHT.
May: Snow is off the trails, you’re training for a half marathon, you’re eating spring produce – raw nuts, baby asparagus and sweet tender berries – and dreaming of a tan and time in the garden or on your bike. You feel like a million bucks. Lean and strong and ready to conquer the world. BRING ON SUMMER. School is almost done and RV life is calling.
June: You’re so close you can taste it. You’re back into the swing of healthy living. Enjoying longer days and warmer nights. You’ve got a little colour and more energy. You’re celebrating with barbecue and sangria and are counting down the days until you can escape your life and indulge in your ‘well-earned’ summer holidays.
July: Free-for-f#cking-all. YESSS, happy July and a dozen ice cold beer on a hot day with chili dogs and sour cream and onion potato chips and macaroni salad and a double scoop of REAL ice cream (not that anti-freeze, fakey-cheapo stuff that melts into a frothy heap)!! We are living the HIGH LIFE with no thought of September – we are IN THE MOMENT – savouring it all. Gym? Who needs to work out? I’m outside. I’m breathing fresh air. I’m on the beach. I walked to the ice cream store after supper. That’ll wear off all those treats. Riiiight.
August: Panic sets in. Summer is half over. DOUBLE DOWN!! All hands on deck! Eat, drink, be merry. MORE ice cream. More beer. More burgers. More beach time. Gym? Do we still have a gym? It’s all good. Enjoy it – summer is SO SHORT – Fall is around the corner. I’ve got ALLLLL winter tobe in the gym… and 3, 2, 1… September.
Do you relate?
What if you could do it differently?
What if – instead of hitting January full force, full of self-loathing and regrets – you could hit January feeling like you hadn’t lost ground but maintained it?
What if – you could get off the take 10 pounds off, gain 12 – take 12 pounds off, gain 8 – seasonal yo-yo cycle of frustration?
What IF – your health and fitness just became the way you lived – like doing your laundry, and making breakfast for your kids, and flossing your teeth, and getting to work on time?
Here are 8 GREAT Reasons to break through your seasonal apathy and get back to the gym RIGHT NOW!
8. Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder with routine trips to the gym. All it takes is 45 minutes in your day (time you could give up on the late net telly) to make a difference in mindset and combat traditional holiday belly bulge. The longer you stay away now – the more difficult it is to find your routine again. Aim for your 3x a week. SWEAT HARD and go about your holiday business.
7. Exercise is an excellent cold and flu fighter when used with good sleep, good food and washed hands. “Studies have shown that regular exercise will help prevent the common cold. Women who exercised regularly were found to have half the risk of colds of those who didn’t work out. And the ability of moderate exercise to ward off colds seemed to grow the longer it was used. The enhanced immunity was strongest in the final quarter of the year-long exercise program, suggesting that it is important to stick with exercise long term to get the full effects.”
6. Stop the holiday Yo-Yo weight gain. Really? We are still having this conversation?
5. Beat holiday stress with your exercise time. Many of us find the holidays to be filled with family drama, money stress, the pressure to travel, make extra food, be everywhere and everything to all people… Keeping your exercise routine is critical to keeping your stress level low.
4. Ever noticed how your endurance and strength takes a massive hit when you’re away from the gym for more than a week or two? It is a painful truth – move it or lose it. Want to stop back-sliding and the frustration that comes with gains being lost? STICK WITH IT. Just keep on keeping on. Show up. Push for your 3x a week minimum.
3. Forge new ways of being. Maybe you’ve always done it this way. Maybe this is your pattern – you don’t really like it but that’s what is easiest for you right now – to keep the status quo. Overdo it and self sabotage and have to ‘start over’ year after year after year…. aren’t you ready to do it differently?
2. New Year’s Resolutions don’t work! Why not just make your exercise just the way you live your whole life. It’s just part of who you are, now – like freckles – you are just fit and healthy you, living your whole life this way. Keep on keeping on. You can’t quit freckles, why quit fitness?
1. Regular Exercise is the NUMBER ONE THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR OVERALL HEALTH.
Keep up showing up for you.
I’ll meet you on the mat. xoK