Burning the holiday caloriesThursday, January 29, 2009 By Emily Schlauch
During the holidays, everyone loves snacking on those delicious candy canes, pumpkin pie and whipped cream drinks. But if people indulge in too many sweets, they may begin to actually resemble the very rounded figure of Jolly Old Saint Nick. But once the holiday festivities come to an end, the cookies and treats are replaced with treadmills and gym memberships as people attempt to shed the pounds. “I’m a huge fan of pumpkin pie. In my family, we get a Marie Calendar’s pie every Christmas. So I’m a big pie guy,” GBHS senior Nick Strann said. The holidays just would not be same without all of the fattening, unhealthy snacks that people love to dine on. “I absolutely love cookies, pumpkin pie and apple pie,” senior Erik Acre said. “Sweet foods are the best at Christmas time.” Although most can admit that they indulge a little too much during the holidays, they have reason to. The holidays are a time to eat, drink and be merry. “Last year, I actually just sat inside for two weeks (and) I did nothing. But it was probably one of the best Christmases I’ve ever had,” Strann said. “This year, I took time off for a mental break from working out. But when you decide not to work out, you start to lose the muscle, strength and the shape that you’re in.” After the celebration is over, many want to devote their time to a healthier hobby and do away with the caloric snacking at holiday cocktail parties. To stay healthy and keep up shapely figures, many people decide to establish good habits, like exercising. “A consistent exercise program makes you a stronger athlete,” senior Austin Velarde said. “It gives me the competitive edge I need compete in my sports.” Teaming up with a friend can often be beneficial to keep your workouts from becoming monotonous. “A lot of the time, I like to work out with a friend or teammate,” Strann said. “I feed off of the social interaction and having someone there to push me really keeps me going. It’s my form of motivation.” Instead of seeing exercise as a chore, you should see it as a healthy activity that will re-energize you. “I go to Gold’s Gym when I need a break. I work out because I like the feeling that I get afterwards,” Acre said. “Although I definitely feel tired and sore, I know that I’ve done something productive with my time. It’s a release that gives me a feeling of gratification.” After the first of the New Year, gym memberships sky rocket. January is often the most profitable months of the year at local gyms because of the mad rush that comes along with New Years resolutions. People want to kick their bad habits and work off those hefty holiday pounds. “(During the) post-holiday season, almost everybody can admit that they have put on a couple of pounds and you start to feel a little flabby,” Acre said. “For me, working out is a personal motivation. I want to be able to see results, feel good about myself and be proud of what I’ve got.” For those motivated individuals, Jan. 1 is the day to stop the snacking and follow through with their New Years resolutions. “I work out at Johnson Ranch Racquet Club, and I have already seen so many more people in the gym than any other time during the year,” GBHS senior Paige Presley said. “It’s great that (people) are motivated to take off the extra pounds from Christmas, but only the real exercise-fanatics will actually stay through the end of the month. You watch them drop like flies as it nears the end of January.” Motivation only makes up one half of fulfilling New Years resolutions to get in shape. The other half comes from dedication and persistence. You cannot expect to lose the extra weight if you do not put in the time and energy to get the job done. So, if getting back into shape is your goal, now is the time to start.