December can be one of the hardest times to workout. The days are the shortest, it has really started to get cold outside, and there is so much preparation needed for the holidays. Very quickly one missed workout can become several missed workouts which can become weeks of missed workouts. Throw in the extra calories from Christmas cookies and holiday parties and you are looking at a waistline disaster. That is why for December, you should try extra hard to keep a routine going. Make sure you are staying active with at least 35 minutes of aerobic activity every day and doing resistance training 3 times a week. A routine allows you to keep that exercise time sacred. Your friends, family, and co-workers will all know that you are exercising during that time and that you are unavailable for that short period of time. Even better, you can convince a friend or family member to workout with you and that way you will both keep each other motivated. Have the routine developed allows you to exercise without even thinking about it and helps drive away any excuses that may be keeping you from going into the gym. Once we form a habit (either good or bad) we stick with that habit (for good or bad), so concentrate on making sure that you keep a healthy habit this December.
Before I was a personal trainer, I worked a standard 9-5 office job. There were days when it was cold and rainy outside and after a long day of work all I wanted to do was go home and watch an episode of The Simpsons. With excuses flying around in my head as to why I could get away with not going to the gym that day, I would mysteriously find myself in my gym clothes walking in the rain towards the gym five minutes later. My body had become so programmed that it automatically put me on my path to the gym. I know what you are thinking, “Yeah, but Stephen, you are crazy and enjoy working out. I could never have that happen to me.” But you would be wrong to think that. You can program you body to take you to the gym, just like you’ve programmed your body to brush your teeth before bed or take a shower in the morning. These are actions that are just so automatic to us that we do them without thinking. If you get in the routine of going to the gym, pretty soon you will find that it too is an automatic part of your day. So on those dark December days when you don’t feel like going to the gym, remember that you are improving yourself every time you head to the gym. Don’t let excuses get you out of exercise, work those excuses out of your life!