Updated: December 19, 2016


Mark “Coach Rozy” Roozen, M.Ed, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT, TSAC-F, FNSCA

During the holidays, you want to spend time with the people you love most. You also want to maintain some type of training and fitness level. As you try to squeeze it all in, your to-do list seems to just keep getting longer and longer. So how do you balance what you need to do with what you want to do?

For starters, take a break from the craziness of your schedule and think about what’s most important to you. Is it a stress-free Christmas time where you don’t have to try to run to the gym and get in your workout before the Christmas program, trying to work in a workout before a Christmas party, or to hustle to finish up your last minute shopping? All of the above?

Reorganize your calendar and your to-do list to reflect the Christmas you want. Being intentional with your relationships also means being intentional with your time. Here’s how you make it happen:

Step One: Look at your overall calendar.
Maybe you have a mental list of everything you need to do and when you need to do it. But it helps to have a written list or calendar to see the big picture. If your shopping needs to be done by a certain date, write that down. If your neighbors have a yearly bash on the Wednesday before Christmas Eve, write that down. The point is to see everything all in one place to get an idea of what’s happening when. Then fit in fitness and your workout in the gaps.

Step Two: What can go?
You don’t have to do everything that’s on your normal workout. You are in control! It’s time to see what can go. Instead of doing that 45 minute cardio run, 35 minutes of resistance training – and working in a 30 minute yoga class, keep it simple by working in a high intensity cardio workout (4 minute Tabata), a quick weight station circuit (8 exercises at 45 sec. each with 15 sec. rest for 2 rounds – done in 16 minutes, plus get extra cardio in), and do 10 minutes of stretches and yoga moves on your own for the week. Your one and 1/2 hour+ workout just dropped to 30 minutes! Instead of doing everything in one day, work to do something in a shorter amount of time over 4 or 5 days. Instead doing 8-10 exercises, to four or five compound movements that work more total body, and you get great benefits, but are done faster. Take some of the pressure off yourself and free up some space on your list.

Step Three: What can you do at home?
Some stuff just has to be done at the training facility, I understand that. You can’t do everything at home – but you can do a lot of training there, mainly for this week. Hey, I run a training facility and want folks coming in. But my main goal is for you to LIVE WELL (that’s even the name of my radio program!). If you can cut back on gym time or bootcamp time for the week, come once or twice instead of three or four times, and do a few things at home – you’ll feel the stress melt away.

Step Four: Redo your calendar.
Now that you’ve opened up some space on your calendar, keep it that way. Don’t accidentally fill it up with more commitments or tasks you don’t really want to do. It helps if you go ahead and write down the fun stuff you plan on doing, even if that’s just a night on the couch with your crew. When you see it on your calendar, you won’t feel the urge to fill that block with something else.

The point is this: Slow down and think about what you really want to do this season. Don’t get so caught up in running around, taking time to workout but not really training anyway, and spending time to get fit and healthy so you can feel better that you forget to enjoy the people and the reason you’re doing all the sweating and training for. And have a Merry—and much slower—Christmas!

Coach Rozy

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