The countdown is on. It’s T-minus 2 days to the Exercise Dog Days of December.

At a time when life seems to rev to warp speed, exercise can become an afterthought at best, abandoned at worst.

For many, December is not exercise-friendly. Routines are disrupted due to holiday parties, the kids being out of school, houseguests, travel, pressing year-end work responsibilities, and for whatever million other reasons. Getting to the gym seems impossible if not altogether disgusting. And, a common rationale is missing is no big deal anyway since the re-start season is right around the corner.

Yikes! Stop right there. Take a breath and regroup.

First, ANY activity is better than no activity and you will enjoy the season more if you sustain your routine. You may need to adjust your routine but for the sake of feeling good physically and emotionally protect any chunks of time you can carve out.

Second, putting your routine on hold in anticipation of a January re-start puts a lot of pressure on an already emotionally-charged time. Your January exercise routine ought to be like December’s, which ought to have been like November’s. Each month means a 4-week opportunity to deepen your Iron Footprint. If you plan to establish New Year’s resolutions, you can set them for something other than exercise by protecting your routine.

Tips on how to prevent the Exercise Dog Days of December:
–Get up 20 minutes earlier to get in a walk
–Engage at vigorous intensity to get the most out of the time you have*
–Participate in holiday-themed organized events
–Do special activities with the kids – take advantage of their school vacation

Sustaining your routine through December will help you be at your best to enjoy the holidays and manage the stress that can go along with the merriment. It will also ease the transition to the new year by defusing the emotionally-charged expectation of having to make wholesale lifestyle changes come January 1.

Here is wishing you a happy, merry and HEALTHY December!

*Monitor your heart rate to safely exercise at vigorous intensity. Check with a reputable fitness professional if you have questions.