Four Steps to a Holiday Workout

Every year I come home with good intentions- to maintain eating mostly healthy, I say I’m going to stretch out, and I always say I am going to go to the gym. Every year I do alright, but nothing like my schedule back at school. (3 hours a week at home versus 20 hours a week at school still somehow seems like such a chore). In addition…I absolutely cannot stand working out at home. I’ve done yoga DVD’s at home before but that’s about it- I’m the kind of girl that needs to go to the gym. If this is not you, and have the self discipline to work out at home, CONGRATS I seriously consider you a more evolved level of human.

Step One- Find Gym Clothes

Probably only one outfit, dug out of the bottom of your suitcase, wrinkled (but who cares it’s gym clothes right?) This may seem like he easiest step, but packing in advance means you’re already setting up a significant commitment! Do you bring home one shirt? Two? How often do you INTEND to work out versus how often will you in reality and do you want to bring all that home?? And don’t forget shoes, but pay attention. True story- when I came home for a weekend in November I brought two left shoes home, and didn’t notice until I got to the gym locker room! Thanks goodness my mother has extra shoes in the car…

Step Two- Plan Your Workout

I’m on my own there- no strength coach, no team mates, not even anything to train for (besides burning off holiday cookies). I typically end up doing about 20 minutes of cardio and then lifting, the catch being I only really lift legs and do core work because I CANNOT do a pull up despite nearly seven years of weight training, heck. Any day now would be great.

Step Three- Fight Your Way Around

Holy crap it’s the holidays what is everyone doing here. Don’t you not workout over the holidays? Wait, why am I working out on Christmas Eve?? OH AN EMPTY SQUAT RACK RUN. 

Step Four- Don’t Stress the Heck Out

I like to get my workouts in over the holidays in short and sweet bursts. I do cardio intervals on the elliptical like a mad woman, lift heavy weights, and take short breaks. If a squat rack doesn’t open up (why are there 200 cardio machines and only three squat racks?!) I’ll improvise on free weights. If I forget my headphones I’ll skip the cardio and do extra core, and I always skip foam rolling to do it at home (foam rollers at the gym freak me out). Basically, when I’m at home in December, I don’t give a crap how my workout goes. It’s a miracle I’m even there! Even though I’m always dying to do something over the holidays I’m not going to skip out on Christmas morning cinnamon buns or post-dinner drinks for the sake of a workout. With that being said, I also don’t have “Holiday pants” set aside or ONLY eat cookies for days upon days. If, or when, you work out over the holidays, make it efficient. The time is meant to be spent with friends and family, not sweaty strangers judging your lifting form.

This post was brought to you by Chicago O’Hare free airport Wifi, a 4:40am alarm clock, and Starbucks. 

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