Friday, November 18, 2011

The Holiday Season: Eat, Drink and... Exercise?

Contributed by Abby Thomas.
Regional Director, USA Sport Group.

The nights are getting longer and the cold weather is setting in. Fall television scheduling is at its best. The last thing on your mind is hitting the gym and banging out 3 sets of 20 TGUs (Turkish Get Ups for those gymphobes) or layering up in Skins and a hoody just so you can hit the road and get a few miles under your belt.

We all know that keeping fit in the off-season is important. It’s hard, but it’s important my intention isn’t to lecture you about why you should do it, more simply some tips as to how you can do it.

All of the above in my opinion are completely acceptable. However, when you return to the field for the first time; be it training, or straight back into the swing of things with a game, you may be wishing that you had played catch up with your fitness instead of with the latest episode of Grey’s.

Recent studies and surveys show that people are more likely to exercise if it’s convenient, so it’s basically a simple case of planning ahead. If you’re one of those people that settles in at home after work, it can be much more of a struggle to go back out again and hit the gym, which I will very much hold my hand up to and admit that I am, then add the gym detour to your way home. This way, you’ve got your daily workout in, you’re pumped from the endorphins and you’re still in the house to socialize with your housemates.

If you’re more into putting your iPod in and pounding the streets kind of training, be on the lookout for freebies. So many local gyms are giving out free gym trials over the holiday period you’d have to be blind to miss them! You get your run in without the cold and wet stealing the ability to press the skip button on your iPod.

Don’t want to go outside? Stay in and exercise! Someone in the family will undoubtedly have a Wii or a Kinect, so dust it off, plug it in and don’t play it sat down on the sofa! You’re inside, you’re warm and you’re working up a sweat, and if one of your more elderly relatives decides to get in on the action it's comedy gold; everyone’s a winner!

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