I recently dropped twenty-five pounds I needed to shed, and have only gained back five over the holidays—so far. Hopefully, that will be it, and then I can get back on track after this holiday holding pattern, and chase away those five naughty pounds.
During this, what I call, holding pattern, the reason I’ve only gained back five, and thankfully not the full twenty-five pounds is that I came to the realization that over the course of my fitness “career,” my normal tack had often been an all or nothing approach. Either I worked out regularly and I ate well, or I didn’t work out and I ate poorly. This approach can spell disaster.
An anything rather than nothing approach will leave you better prepared to maintain a more fit lifestyle. If you simply can’t refrain from the plethora of goodie-ridden platters at the holiday season parties you’re committed to attend, then at the very least don’t give up on your workouts. Chances are, if you do get your workout in you may indulge more than you’d like, but having worked out, there should be less guilt and a better likelihood you may even eat less not wanting to compromise the work you did do.
And, by anything being better than nothing, I’m talking as little as fifteen or twenty minutes of vigorous exercise is better than no exercise at all. This is especially true if you employ targeted techniques such as Tabata-style workouts, during which you employ interval training with as short an interval as ten or twenty seconds of work. Of course the work is all out, it’s short, but the benefits are exponential. With this technique even eight minutes of work will leave you exhausted and doing the backstroke in a pool of sweat, and is certainly much, much better than nothing.
The best thing about it is you’ve done “something” that you can build on the next time you workout. You don’t end up stringing together too many non-workout days, making it even more difficult to get back to. Also, there is a much better chance that you’ll extend your workout to longer than the fifteen or twenty minutes you’ve intended, something that couldn’t occur if you didn’t work out at all. So, eat an extra cookie if you have to, but do something, for Christmas’ sake!
These are some of my favorite fitness programs and resources:
P90X Fitness Program
Seattle Sports and Fitness