Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How Your Training Schedule Can Survive the Holidays

Written by: Andy Potts, World Champion Triathlete

We all know that the holiday season can be the killer of any training schedule.  There are just too many good homemade treats to eat the way we know we should, and with all of the good football on TV, it is easier to watch other people stay active than to actually be active. When it comes to the holidays, the keys to success are flexibility, a positive mindset to stay motivated and make the right decisions, and a little bit of planning.  Here are some things that help me keep my training scheduling rolling during the holidays.

Get off on the right foot each morning with healthy food choices. If you make great food choices early, you should begin to see a cascade effect where those good decisions build upon each other throughout the day. If you find that you lose will power or start to make poor eating decisions after a certain hour (its usually after 4:00pm for me), then try drinking a big glass of water to make you feel full. Lately, I have been drinking tea whenever I gather with friends or family in a social setting where I know there will be great food.  It's a great way to keep your hands occupied while keeping your stomach full. 

Bonus Tip: When there is a big meal ahead, try eating a little bit of everything instead of a lot of anything.

"I find that working out early limits my excuses"
-Andy Potts
I tend to view the holidays a lot like I view travelling during the season. By that, I mean that I don't stress out when I miss a workout. The way I see it, any workout that I am able to get in over the holidays is a bonus. With that in mind, try switching things up or trying something new; maybe that means trying out a ski conditioning class or visiting your first sunrise yoga. These new experiences may keep you motivated to exercise when you otherwise would not be.  Most importantly, be flexible and do what's available to you.  The harder it is to plan your workout, the more likely you are to skip it, so keep it simple and stay active using the things around you.

Bonus Tip: I find that working out early in the day or when I first wake up limits the excuses I can make as the day goes on.

Other- Get everyone involved.  Instead of getting together to just eat and drink, plan a family activity! Rally the troops for a game of kickball, touch football, or whatever would be fun for your family.  You may not be racking up a ton of miles or building quick muscle mass, but you will be laughing a lot with your family… and I can’t think of a better way to strengthen your core!

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