The Christmas Credit vs Debit Debate…

The clock change at the end of October heralds the start of the silly season of events which include Halloween & Trick or Treat, Guy Fawkes night, festive parties, and the increasingly lengthy lead up to Christmas itself and then New Year.

For gym-goers, it becomes a constant battle to maintain a regular routine. Many accept that something has to give, and that normally is one or two notches on the belt loop. If you are happy accepting this outcome and are consequently happy accepting that January will be a slog, then good for you!

Another approach is to change both your routine and your approach to this current season of over-indulgence. Changing a routine is not easy for regular gym-goers. After all, having a regular routine is one of the most effective ways of staying fit and healthy. A random attendance strategy rarely works as it is too easy to duck out of. And the arrival of the silly party season can put a serious dent in even the most hard-core routine.

The current season of parties often puts more of a strain on those who train after work or in the evenings. A busy social calendar means something has to give, and an hour here or there in the gym is normally the first victim. Those who train in the morning can often still accommodate sessions, albeit with a potential penalty to pay for the previous night.

It may, therefore, be necessary to change your routine for the next couple of months and try to fit some morning or daytime sessions into your regime. Mornings can be tough, especially if you are not a morning person. Performance levels might not be as high, but it is still time in the bank. Lunchtimes too can be an option, especially if you live close to a gym. It requires planning, for sure, but it really is worth considering, just as long as the psychological impact of changing your routine isn’t too stressful in itself!

Changing your mental approach can also help you get through the next few months. I remember a professional athlete tell me that hew always adopted a credit vs debit approach to training. This worked well for him as he liked to eat a big meal in the evenings, even though he knew this wasn’t ideal. He, therefore, adapted his mindset to a credit vs debit approach. If he trained hard in the mornings, then he believed he had built up credit in his body bank, which he could justifiably ‘spend’ later in the day. It was his way of preparing for whatever the evening held in store. If he didn’t train and went out, then the next day the training session was ‘pay-back’ time and he believed was debit in his body bank. Not only did this have an adverse mental effect on him during the debit training session, but even the night before as he believed his body was in negative territory, which wasn’t a good place to be for a professional athlete.

While we are not professional athletes, I do think there is something we can take from this credit vs debit approach, especially if we are normally evening trainers. Switching to a morning routine might be tough to start with, but if you focus on the credit you are putting into your body bank, then the evening can be enjoyed without feeling guilty or in subsequent debit!

If you want any advice of guidance about staying in shape during the festive season or need some motivation to change your training approach, then come and speak with any of our personal trainers or fitness staff.

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