Let's be real, as much as we bitch and moan about the holidays, there is one aspect that we all love: the food. Gravy rivers flow through mashed potato canyons. Whipped cream clouds float on a bed of pumpkin pie. Spiked beverages are abundant, food comas are frequent, and draw string sweat pants are a must. Sometimes my Grandma even feeds me like a baby! Who am I kidding, I don't just love the holidays...IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL F****** TIME OF THE YEAR.
With that said, the average American gains anywhere from 5 to 15 pounds during the holidays. Between all the sugar, alcohol and not-so-great-for-you fats, our bodies pack on fat and water weight. Now unless I'm competing, I've never been one to believe in total deprivation. I love my social life and the cheat days that come with it. But that means busting my ass between those days. It's called balance and I'm going to teach you how to do it...and how to get your whole family doing it too. Goals are easier to accomplish when you have a team! The trick is to not make it seem like exercising. As awesome as it is to sit on the couch and watch football the whole night (insert sarcastic tone here) there are better ways to catch up with your family while torching the calories. Here are a few:
Do you have a few little cousins or siblings? Lure them away from the video games and electronic devices by tempting them with a game of Hide and Go Seek or Tag. Since kids are so attached to sitting around and staring at screens these days, I recommend bribing them with a dessert before dinner. Of course, you can't give it to them until you finish the game but they'll probably forget all about it because you'll play until dinner is ready. Not only will they get off their asses but I guarantee you'll get a good workout too!
Is your family full of athletes? Almost every single person in my family plays a sport. The majority of us grew up playing soccer. Now that most of us kids are in our 20s, playing with the adults can be a pretty entertaining match. Start and adult vs. kids game! Talk a little shit to your super competitive uncle to piss him off enough to want to kick your ass and to get him away from the TV. Invite the non-athletes to play too! If they're not interested, ask them to keep score or cheer on the sidelines. The whole point is to get the family moving, any way possible. You'll not only get a solid workout, you'll create amazing memories too. Hopefully someone records the game too so you can get your cousin getting slammed in the face with a ball on camera. Priceless!
The one thing I love about my family is that on Christmas we always take long walks after dinner and before dessert. My uncle lives next to Golden Gate Park and some of my fondest memories are wandering around the park with my family, chatting, climbing trees with my cousins and taking in all the beautiful Winter scenery. We avoid food comas (for the most part) and we make room for more food. I mean, this is what the holidays are supposed to be about, right??
Regardless of who your family is or what the word means to you, physical activity brings everyone together in the best way possible. If anything, you release a ton of endorphins just by laughing together. So get that game of Capture the Flag going or throw around a little pigskin! (I've always wanted to say that. ;) ) Even if they don't say it, your family will appreciate it.
BOOM. Happy Holidays!