If only we could look into a magic 8 ball, shake it, and see the best response flash before our eyes. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly how the Universe works, but we’re here to give you some pro and cons to help you decide for yourself. First thing’s first: You will be OK. Whether you workout or not, the world will continue spinning and life as you know it will resume. It really is just a matter of what your body is telling you and what you have on your agenda. For me? I will be taking the day off. Why? I workout at least 5-6 days a week and my schedule typically revolves around work and the gym. Seeing my family, however, is only a once in a while occurrence and I want to cherish every single moment of it. If that means waking up for an indulgent Christmas brunch instead of hitting the treadmill, so be it. What I choose, though, may not be for you. If you are having trouble deciding whether or not you will be lacing up and hitting the pavement, here is something to meditate upon.
Why You Should Work Out
The case for why you should work out on Christmas is a big one. The first of the reasons involves setting your intention for the day. For many, working out is what sets you up and gets you in a great mood. Whether you want to go for a run, yoga session, or pump some iron, all these activities will undoubtedly release endorphins. In addition, exercising in the morning might mean you will be less likely to scarf down that extra cookie (or three) later on. If you are convinced that working out will ensure a better day ahead of you, then definitely get those sneakers on!
Another reason to workout? Despite the fact that we think not working out or indulging is a reason to feel guilt or regret, if you identify as someone who does this it’s time to take preventative measures. You don’t want to look back on Christmas day and think, “I could have/ should have/ would have worked out”. Get it out of the way so you can enjoy your day ahead.
If you are on the fence but are committed to get some kind of activity in, then we recommend cutting the amount of time or intensity of your workout. Instead of a whole hour of vinyasa, opt for a 30-minute session instead. Instead of running a half marathon, go for a 5K jog or a walk with your loved ones. Anything to get your heart rate up at least a bit, might settle you for the remainder of the holiday. Studies show that even just a 20 minute walk in the morning can set you up for a happier and more productive day.
Why You Don’t Have To Work Out
For the most part, we always say, “When in doubt, sweat it out,” but the same doesn’t necessarily have to apply on big holidays where family gatherings are involved. While nourishing the body is vital, nourishing the soul is as well. If you don’t see your family all too often, take the time to really be present with them and join them in group activities – even if that means eating some maple syrup-topped french toast and forgoing a gym session.
Additionally, it is important to mention that missing one day of activity will not set you back. As a matter of fact, rest is vital for muscle regeneration and injury prevention. Trainers have even said that taking a day off has resulted in clients coming back stronger than before. If you workout regularly, missing a day or two and not adhering to your regular routine will not result in anything to be considered as “detrimental damage”.
The key does lie in getting back on your grind once Christmas is over. The next day, schedule a workout date with a family member, friend (or even yourself) and stick to it so you can get back into the swing of things.
Whether you work out or not, we hope you enjoy the holidays and take advantage of all the great time you get to spend with your loved ones. Be thankful for everything your body can do and how far you have come. It only comes once a year, so you deserve to do what makes you feel the very best!