As we approach the end of 2015, most of us are also thinking about the end of our “Fitcation”. What do I mean? Well, while there are plenty of people still frequenting the gym, most people admit they take a vacation from normal exercise and eating habits. So, in essence, they were on a Fitcation.
Let me encourage you! We NEED fitcations! However, just with regular vacations, they have to come to an end. As much as we need them in our life, we can’t live in the constant state of vacation where we can spend all the money we want, do as little as we want and play as hard as we want – at least I can’t afford to do that. And, I can’t afford to take a never-ending Fitcation either.
If you think about the school system, they set a really good pattern for a healthy routine. They always have a chunk of time dedicated to regular study. They have shorter bursts of periodically strenuous testing, which are often follow the strenuous testing with vacation time. Why? Because teachers realize kids need structure, they need to be challenged and they also need a break.
In many ways, we are still like kids. Nothing really has changed. Our attention span is only good for so long. We need structure to keep us on task. We need a schedule where we are regularly working on our physical skills and striving to improve. We also still need times of testing, to check our progress and skill level. Lastly, we need a break – and that is what we are coming out of now. We are approaching the end of our break and realizing it’s time to go “back to school” per say. Back to life, back to reality.
I always didn’t mind going back to school because I think I do best with structure and I like seeing my friends. Truth is, most of us need structure and we need healthy friends.
As with school, going gym to reality is rarely welcomed because we know there are things we can no longer do (like stay up late). There is a certain level of discipline required to stick to a routine and there will be all those dreaded “rules”. There is also the fact we know we are going to have regressed some and our body will forget some of the stuff we “learned”.
It’s the same with fitness. As we get ready to go back the gym (and the grocery store), we know there are just some things we can’t do for a while. The days of Pumpkin pie and Christmas cookies are over. The excuse to eat out all the time is over too. Lazy days of skipping the gym to hang out with family can no longer be an excuse either. But, like a school semester, it’s just for a short period – and it’s good for you.
If you want your New Year’s Resolutions to stick, map out your “school year”. Our education system puts a great deal of effort into making sure the school year is balanced and has all the components necessary to bring out the best in the kids.
You too need to schedule “teacher’s planning days”, spring breaks and such. You need to make time for recess in your routine as well. Another tip is to not get bogged down in intense testing every single workout. Fitness is best when it’s a healthy balance of challenging workouts and fun.
Lastly, don’t look at your gym breaks as set backs, look at it as a much-needed Fitcations. Don’t beat yourself up if you weigh a little more, or the weights seem to be a little heavier at first. Just like learning algebra for a second time, it will come back faster than when you tackled it the first time.
Fitness isn’t supposed to be a crash course or a military school. It’s supposed to be a lifestyle. It may take some time (years for some of us) to master the lifestyle, but there’s no better time than the New Year to start fresh, set a schedule and give it another college try! 😉