Gearing up for the Most Wonderful Challenge of the Year

It’s my one of my most favorite times of year! The holiday baking madness, the blustery weather and snowflakes, the frantic shopping (I actually really like this part)… and the CAC Holiday Challenge!

This will be the third year I will participate and will try to hit the gym as many times as I can between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

If you work out for 25 days, you get a bunch of guest passes, a $50 club credit, and a free month of membership! This is the ultimate goal I strive for every year, but I usually just miss the mark by a day or two. But that’s okay, because if you work out 20-24 days, you still get that $50 club credit. Both years, I have put it towards a massage at LVAC. It’s a great reward after a month of hard work.

I will be out of town for a couple days at the start of the challenge, so I won’t have any freebies this year. But I’m going to go for it anyway! Even if I miss the goal, any motivation to get me to the gym is good enough for me.

If you’re interested in joining me in the challenge, I’ve compiled a few tips and tricks from my past years to help you out.

Consider adding another club to your membership

It was easy for me to work out at WAC on weekdays because it was close to my work. But it wasn’t so close to home. To give me that extra push I needed to get my butt to the gym Saturdays and Sundays, I added WPAC to my membership last year. It was just a few more dollars per month. And with access to clubs close to work AND home, I really had no excuses.

Adding WPAC to my membership has proved to be a great investment! Now I go to the gym all the time on the weekends, not just when I’m trying to win club credit and guest passes.

Mix up your routine and try something new

If you’re planning on hitting the gym almost every day in December, variety is key. If your workout routine is to hop on the elliptical for 30 minutes day after day, it’s going to be tough to keep that up.

Don’t bore yourself! This challenge is the perfect opportunity to try that pilates class you’ve had your eye on or try a new spin teacher.

I’m not going to lie, you’re not going to like everything you try. You might discover that a certain class or teacher is just not for you. But that’s okay! You worked out one more day and are one step closer not only to winning awesome prizes, but also to avoiding the holiday bulge.

Take-it-easy days are totally okay

Yes, working out for 25 days in a month may sound crazy. But you don’t have to kill yourself with intense workouts every single day.

Some days you can just put in a mile on the treadmill. Or attend a yoga class for beginners, which won’t be strenuous. You could do a mini-circuit of just a few exercises, then put in some stretching time. As long as you’re in the gym doing SOMETHING, it counts.

The most important thing is that you’re doing a little bit more than what you would have normally done that day. So what if it’s just a mile — hey that’s a whole lot more than zero miles!

Plan your week in advance

Yes, the holidays are busy and there’s always a lot going on as far as social activities. By planning in advance, you’re more likely to show up.

So if you know that team holiday happy hour will be held after work next Thursday and will cut into your normal gym routine, adjust your schedule and sweat it out in the morning. (You come up with a different plan, but there’s no way I am hitting up the gym AFTER happy hour, that’s for sure!)

When I’m feeling particularly unmotivated, I’ll even go so far as to add classes to my calendar. This makes it makes it seem more like an obligation and less like a choice, making it harder to skip.

Are you doing the CAC Holiday Challenge this year? Let me know your plan of action!

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Betsy Mikel |