The 1 Month Fix It Job

How are we already over half way through January? Albeit I’m not complaining, roll on Spring. You should all now be well into the swing of things post-Christmas break. Most of us are spending the month booze free, sugar free, gluten free or something else free of something. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few going food free.

January is a month like no other, there isn’t much going on, the social scene is quiet and even I look at my diary and have practically nothing in at the weekends which after the second half of last year is a more than welcome surprise. I am sure many of you can relate.

And whilst we all seem to have a small amount of disposable time many are spending it in the gym sweating away the excess pounds gained over Christmas. Firstly it’s perfectly normal to gain a few pounds over Christmas, we move less, eat more, drink more, socialise more. Accepting this can be difficult and can take some time but in my opinion being a little softer shouldn’t be the end of the world.

The seasons will often dictate how we look naked. So accept how you look at this time of the year. Myself included.

This perception of ourselves, how we look or feel post-Christmas sends us all into a mass panic. Everyone will join a gym, go to as many weekly body pump or spin classes to burn as many calories as physically possible. And then before you know it, the gym come February / March time will be back to normal.

So why such a huge drop off after January? Shouldn’t our fitness, our health, how we look be a continuous 12-month cycle rather than crammed into the 31 days of January? Do we suddenly decide we don’t give a s*** come February? It is laziness or a sudden lack motivation? Do we burnout or give up?

It could be anyone of the above, it could be them all. I do think going out hard and fast is an effective way to meet one of the above sooner than planned. Many of us are now aware that to lose scale weight we need to be in a deficit, exercise is a great way to create such a deficit. But hitting a gym class 3 to 4 times per week, going booze free for a month, and training like a maniac isn’t a sustainable 12 month plan.

Those who go booze free for a month booze even harder, those who train more than they ever have burn out, plateau or lose motivation. The shear amount of training isn’t sustainable.

Slow down, train and eat well but do it at a sustainable level so that you can do it across 12 months rather than 1. Our bodies are incredible, but to booze all month, overindulge and barely move over Christmas to then smash it in January to just get back to the same place you were in in November doesn’t make sense.

3 is the magic number. This is your start place. Aim for 3 types of activity across the week. It could be for example, a spin class there are now hundreds to choose from, try a couple that is either convenient for work or home and go. Yoga, again try a few classes and sign up to once per week. If this is at your current gym, you could also do a resistance training based class there. Body Pump or something similar.

3 hours of out of your week. You do have time for this trust me. This already is something that you might be able to replicate for the month of February and so on. This longer-term lifestyle change is where more of us need to get to.