Ah... The Holiday season. That time of year for cheerful giving, overindulgence and excessive partying. For many of us that are devoted to optimal health, this may also be a time of year when we get a bit of anxiety as well. Jumping from party to party, and rich meal to rich meal we wonder how this is effecting our health. Well I am here to bring good news to your holiday woes, Exercise is a hedge against your Holidays!
A new Study published by the America Physiological Society gives hope to those of us who may enjoy the holidays too much!
Basically the findings go like this; Your health is like the gas gauge in your car. Each month you train and make proper nutrition choices, your gauge rises towards the Full marker. Each month you are a Couch Potato and make poor nutrition choices, the more the gauge moves towards empty. E= Disease, F= Optimal health. The findings of the University Of Michigan study were such that those athletes or 'healthy' individuals were able to fall off the wagon and not do too much damage that the body could not recover fast from!
The thinking in science has been that your body works off patterns, which it does. You do things repeatedly and your body adjusts to that to create homeostasis. But in this case when the healthy individuals were asked to consume more calories and low quality foods, their glucose sensitivity and inflammatory markers did not change that much. It seems that your body's "Set Point" (a topic I have written about) does not change that easily. So More exercise and better choices in Nutrition create a little buffer or WIGGLE ROOM against some not so great holiday choices. SWEET!
Here is why I think this study rules. Life is about taking every opportunity to have fun. The holidays are fun; you have friends, food and laughs. If you slip and drink too much or eat too much a couple days, don't sweat it. Live and laugh my friends. Also, this helps keep you from alienating yourself at the parties. I used to be that guy who would scowl at appetizers and scoff at breads... total dick move Right? No-one wants to hang with that guy! Now you can eat merrily and talk positively with others about nutrition and health, creating comfort for those on the fence about jumping back in the gym . Hell, let them know about this study. (And see their eyes glaze over)
Now the individuals in the study were allowed to increase intake for 1 week without change. This does not mean you can go to town for a whole month and expect to jump right back into the gym with the same verve. No, No. Exercise and nutrition should be in balance at about 80% during this time of year. There is always time to get outside or into the gym, even if you just crushed some pie!
Keep crushing everyone and feel good about the holidays. Be positive and know that your health gauge is still as close to Full as possible!
Elbow To Instep
Up Back Overs
20 min AMRAP
5 Pull Up
10 Push Up
15 Air Squats