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Recently, a class participant was listing all the reasons she had not been able to attend class.  “Sometimes, despite our best intentions life…” gets in the way is what I intended to say, but before I had the chance to finish, another member piped up and said, “Lifes!”  Sometimes life, “lifes.” True story.

Never is that truer than during the holiday season. It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it may also be the most stressful time of the year. Once we get past Halloween, it’s game on – time speeds up, the calendar fills up, and it is easy to throw in the towel on our fitness plan and tell ourselves that we’ll pick it back up in the New Year. But honestly, who wants to feel like they are starting all over again in a couple of months? No one, that’s who!

Here are a few tips to help us through the holiday season, when life is busy “lifing” it up:

  • Have a Plan A, B, & C. Plan A = favorite group fitness class right after work M/W/F. Plan B = made it to class on Monday, but forgot kids have a school event on Wednesday night, maybe try to go for a walk during lunch on Wednesday instead. Plan C = work is crazy, social calendar is full, nothing is going as planned, try to get as much activity throughout the day, maybe a few minutes of stretching before bed, and aim for getting in a long workout over the weekend. Always have a backup plan and the ability to adapt as needed.
  • Stick with your favorites and reconsider trying to start something new. During times of high stress, motivation must be easily accessible.  Plan activities that you will look forward to and won’t want to miss!  If you hate running, it’s not the time to start a running plan.  If yoga bores you, plan on a Group Fight or Dance Fit class instead.  If you are stressed out, hit that late evening Gentle Yoga class that will help you unwind and get a good night’s sleep. Listen to your body and try to give it what it wants and needs.
  • Cut yourself some slack and enjoy your life.  If, despite your best intentions, life just won’t stop “lifing” and plans A, B, & C fall through, don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t let it interfere with your enjoyment of the holiday season.  Get in as much daily activity as possible, go to your favorite class that leaves you feeling relaxed & happy afterwards, and sneak in quick workouts in-between all the hustle & bustle when you can.

Flexibility and adaptability are the keys to making it through this stressful and busy time of the year, and, if all else fails, we all know those New Year’s Resolutions are waiting just around the corner (wink,wink)!


Michelle M., Group Fitness Manager & Instructor at the Butler-Gast YMCA & Maple Street YMCA

Category: Health & Wellness
Picture of Michelle M. - group fitness manager at the Y

Meet Michelle!

Michelle Montague, Group Fitness Manager and Instructor at the Maple St. and Butler-Gast branches, will be celebrating her 25th year of being a Group Fitness Instructor in 2024 and feels so lucky to get to do something she loves daily. When not teaching classes, she loves to hike, bike, read, watch movies, and hang out with her grandkids.