Leading up to Christmas, there’s always tons of blog posts about how to stay fit over the holidays. Admittedly, with a disrupted schedule and seemingly endless food and drinks around, it can be difficult to maintain a routine. But there are ways. Fun ways! Especially if your family enjoys staying active as well. And besides, refueling with cookies is deliciously satisfying.
Upon arriving to Toronto from London, I was greeted with suitably Canadian weather. Temperatures around -10, with piles of snow from a recent snowstorm. Naturally, the first thing I did was try to go for a run. Try being the key word in that sentence. I had this romantic vision of me dashing through the snow like a festive Christmas elf. I neglected to realise that it takes the City of Toronto a few hours to properly clear snow from the sidewalks. I quite literally had to prance through the snow-covered sidewalks, regularly running into snow banks so large I would have to climb over or walk around. 3.5K in and my feet were wet, and I was cold and a little disappointed. Not exactly the festive jaunt I had imagined, but a good little workout nonetheless!
Next up, my mother-in-law took myself, my husband and father-in-law along too her regular pilates class. I went to pilates once, about a decade ago so it was basically like starting again. It was tough! The lovely instructor at Core Body Science Pilates patiently walked us through the moves. The reformer machines are somewhat intimidating if you don’t know how to use them. The studio is warm and welcoming, and there were two beautiful Labradors hanging out, presumably the pets of the owner. I watched them with envy luxuriating in a sunbeam as I tried to hold my 67th deep lunge. While I don’t think I broke a sweat, my muscles were working hard. We did a variety of moves that worked every muscle in my body and I was definitely feeling it the next day!
I am very appreciative that my parents have a home gym. I like to use it whenever I visit, especially the treadmill. That treadmill and I got very well acquainted a few years ago when I was training for my first marathon. I ran 32km on it! So I thought I would do a short 5K to partially justify all the calories I would consume at our evening Christmas party. Unfortunately, the tread on the treadmill was so loose, I had to put it at a 5% incline just so I wouldn’t slip. The 5K hill climb kicked my butt. I’m still sore two days later.
And finally, the real challenge: Aquafit. My mom goes to an Aquafit class at the local Community Centre several times a week, so I joined her for a pre-Christmas class. I know you’re probably thinking that Aquafit hardly sounds like an intense workout but this class is no joke. While lots of the ladies just float and chat, if you’re really trying, you can get a real workout. I did this class with her in the summer and nearly drowned. I just don’t float. If I stop moving, I sink straight to the bottom. Like a rock. Simply treading water for 60+ minutes is a challenge for me. Add in some basic workout moves and a mild hangover from the night before and I knew I was in for a real feat of strength. With my recent triathlon training, I managed the Aquafit class without making a total idiot of myself, but my mom decided we should stay for a tether class. I was tremendously relieved to learn that this class involves wearing a floatation belt, so I thought this might be a nice cool-down. Wrong again. In this class, you tether your belt to the pool lane divider and intersperse pool running with more dynamic moves. Another 45 minutes and I was exhausted. Straight home for a nap on the couch!
So after all this activity, I am deeming today a rest day. It is Christmas Eve after all.
So whether you’re planning to be restful or active, I hope you have a very merry Christmas. Take some time off to enjoy all the good things in life: great food, family and friends.
PS – Don’t forget to vote for me in the Trespass Blog Awards! Just click here, then click on Running, and vote for Thoughts and Pavement.