I really hate this time of year. Don't worry, I'm not going to be a Scrooge and bash Christmas or tell Santa to hit the stair-climber.
December is a tough month in the ol' fitness business. The gym can be a ghost town. The phone doesn't ring a whole lot. Members don't return calls. Leads don't follow up with you. Too quiet for my liking. It's usually the calm before the storm of New Year's Resolutions that happens after the glittery ball drops. My biggest question is always this: WHY WAIT?
The biggest thing I hear from people who know they need to exercise and won't is "I'm too busy to exercise". First off, I will always and forever call bullsh#t on any person who ever uses "I'm too busy" as an excuse to not take care of themselves. I don't care what is going on in your life or how hectic your schedule looks. When something is important to you, you make an effort to make it happen. You seem to find time to take care of your home, work, spouse, kids and all of their countless activities. Therefore, you have time to take care of yourself. If you die, because you didn't take care of yourself, what kind of role model are you being? Again, I ask, WHY WAIT?
The classic excuse gets amplified during the holiday season with people saying "I'll wait till the holidays are over, then I will have time". I've already gotten on my soapbox about people claiming they are busier than they actually are, so I'll let that rest. But in reality, most people will wait till Janurary 1 to get moving again. Waiting a month when you know you need to do something is a horrible idea. Most people who know they are going to try and do a 180 degree turn with their lifestyle, generally stuff their face MORE during the holidays. The average person gains around 8-10 additional pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day if they don't exercise during that time. Once again, WHY WAIT?
Blowing off the gym for a month and half during the most glutinous days of the year is a huge mistake. The best thing you can do for yourself and those around you, is to get started NOW. Here's some reasons why:
-You could be the only member of your family who actually LOSES weight during the holidays. Who knows; you may even inspire members of your family to take their own initiative to get healthy. Now THAT is being a good role model!
-Stress management. Let's face facts, the holidays ARE stressful (more on that in my next blog). The malls are insane, your drop a lot of coin on gifts and meals, and of course there are those relatives who drive you up a wall that you need to put up with. Grab some weights, and blow off some steam so you don't throw a ham at them.
-Get a head start. This way you can become familiar with your surroundings and get comfortable at the facility. The gyms are going to be mobbed in January. We all know this, so do the gyms. Because December is slow, a lot of places even offer discounts, free personal training, or other perks for signing up early.
Just last week, we had a woman sign up for one-on-one training at our studio and I spent most of her warm-up commending her for not waiting until the new year. She took initiative and got started right way! So far, she's doing great!
So, what are YOU waiting for????
Frank Francis is a personal trainer and small group fitness instructor at
Fitness Together North Andover located at 73 Main Street North