'Tis the season to get active

MICHELLE BRIDGES
Last updated 11:25 04/12/2012
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CHRISTMAS RUSH: Don't let the festive period derail your exercise plans, especially when the weather's good.

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The holiday season is the best time of the year to be ramping up your exercise regime.

Christmas is on December 25. Unless you live in Armenia, when apparently it's on January 6. Or Ethiopia, Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Macedonia or Moldova, where I'm led to understand the birth of Christ is celebrated on January 7. (I'm no expert on this. Comparisons between Julian and Gregorian calendars frankly anaesthetise me. The only calendar I'm interested in is the Google version.)

Importantly, wherever in the world you reside, there is one thing in common when it comes to Christmas: it is only one day. Not a week or a month. A day.

For most of us, however, "Christmas" will start at lunch on Friday, December 21, when offices will resonate to the sound of champagne corks bouncing off the photocopier, and finish some time in late January.

Unfortunately, "Christmas" roughly translates to "Hammer the bejaysus out of yourself for a month" for most of us. Every socialising opportunity that presents itself is our cue to consume our own body weight in alcohol and eat enough cheesecake to launch us into glycaemic shock.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm happy to let my hair down on the odd occasion. But it's not a month-long religious holiday we're talking about, it's a day or two.

And there's a paradox we should remind ourselves of. We spend most of the year complaining we can't exercise because: a) we don't have enough time; b) it's too cold; c) it's too dark, too early; d) there's nothing available outside of the grind of going to the gym; e) your friends are busy and you don't want to train on your own.

Yet Christmas holidays are the best time to be exercising and looking after yourself because most of these roadblocks evaporate in the summer holiday haze.

If you have a few drinks one night, you don't have to race out of bed the next morning. The weather is generally warm and inviting, and more often than not your friends will be available to exercise with you. There's usually a whole lot of outdoor activities on offer, particularly if you are close to a beach or a national park.

Plus, it's not all beer and cheesecakes; there's plenty of healthy food out there, too!

MICHELLE'S TIP: Plan your activities in advance and don't let an unexpected invitation mess up your good intentions.

- Daily Life

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