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How to Fight the Holiday Weight Gain

8:00 am

How to stay fit during the holidays 2015

As I write this (which is usually about a week before blog posts go live), I’m nursing a stress fracture in my left foot. I have to stay off of it for as much as I can over the next few weeks, which puts a serious damper on my running schedule. I don’t have a special routine during the holidays - at least nothing drastic - the key, for me, is to keep everything the same as much as possible. I try to eat the same amount. Workout the same amount. Calories in. Calories out.

My weekly workout schedule is the simple and I don’t pretend that it’s made to a perfect science but this is exactly what I'll be doing to combat that turkey weight:

Monday: Bikram Yoga (90 minutes)
I’ve been practicing Bikram for a year, and while I’m not an advanced yogi, I practice it consistently. My studio recently started offering 75 minute classes, mostly during week day lunch slots, but I've discovered that I simply prefer the 90 minute classes which allow more time between poses and do 2 sets of everything. Bikram is perfect during the holidays because it's a low-impact activity that you can do even when you feel bloated.

Tuesday: Short distance run (4-6 miles)
I can manage 4-6 miles on these short-distance days, and I give myself the leeway to adjust the distance. On a travel day when I don’t have a lot of free time, I run the shorter distance of four miles. During the holidays, I will do my short distance days first thing in the morning. This fasted cardio is perfect to burn the fat.

Wednesday: Short distance run (4-6 miles); weights
Same as Tuesday but I add in the weights. Some days, I switch it up and do weights on the Tuesdays after my run. I have to admit, I really don’t enjoy lifting weights and I do only three basic workouts - deadlift, weighted squats, and benchpress. 3 reps of 12.

Thursday: Rest
I usually need a rest day in the week otherwise my legs won’t be fresh for the longer distance runs at the end of the week. But if I’m feeling ambitious, then I’ll hop on the spin bike for 45 minutes to an hour. This is also a particularly good day to squeeze in an additional workout if I'm feeling bloated over the holidays.

Friday: Long distance pace (8-10 miles)
I’m up to 10 miles on my long-distance days but I’m hoping to get this to 13 miles (a half-marathon) in 2016. I pace myself on these long distance days since my focus for right now is not about speed.

Saturday: Bike (60 minutes); weights
I use the spin bikes at my gym, but it’s not Soulcycle. There’s no Beyonce on full blast, no double tap-back, nor any bright disco lights. I’m on the spin bike going at a consistent difficulty and speed. My main goal is to keep my legs moving at the same pace for the entire time I’m on the bike, and I mimic the pace at which I run for. I bike to build up leg muscle, and specifically the muscle around my knee - the objective is to use spinning to improve my strength for running.

Sunday: Long distance pace (8-10 miles)
Head down, break a sweat. It's another long distance day!

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