How to Stay in Shape Over Break

Beth Gentsch, Sentry Staff Reporter

It is the night before the start of winter break. Students fall into bed with a deep, heavy sigh, perhaps emitting a long exhale filled with weeks’ worth of pent-up stress. As they close their eyes, they know can breath normally againif at least for a few weeks.

A mild dream begins where the student is spending winter break in their house with their families, drinking some hot chocolate and relaxing by the fire. It soon turns nightmarish, as the student realizes they have been sitting on the couch for a total of FORTY TWO HOURS. They freak out a little bit, but try to ignore it as they read a magazine and have another cup of hot cocoa. Then they look at their watch. It is midnight on January 3rd, the day before school starts again. The student attempts to get off the couch. They cannot. They wake up screaming, only to realize they have not been on the couch for two weeks. As the student’s pulse slowly returns, they silently vow to accomplish more than ever before this winter break ends to escape the horror of the couch entrapment. Here is a list of their advice.

 

Take advantage of the time you have.

 

Although this student’s experience may have been a dream, the idea that it is relatively easy to essentially “do nothing” over break is not a myth by any means. It is definitely healthy to take a break from schoolwork, but taking a break from physical activity could be detrimental to your health, happiness, and overall well-being (much less your talent to consume awesome amounts of food in a short period of time, which you probably can do normally if you are an athlete or just growing human in general).  Athletes should value the break as time to continue or amp up trainings—if you are an athlete and your sport has winter break practices, go to them! Your body will thank you later, and in January you can laugh at your friend who spent their entire winter break on a cruise ship in the Caribbean who is unfortunately regurgitating their entire dinner during sprints at practice. And if you are spending your winter break on a cruise ship in the Caribbean, try to be active. They must have gyms on cruise ships.

 

The early bird catches the worm- or even something better.

Those who are prone to procrastination should aim to workout in the morning hours, so they can go about their day feeling refreshed and energized. Not only will this curb the tendency to put off exercise, but it will also help you establish a somewhat normal sleep cycle.

 

Keep a routine

I’ll say it againsleep is important. You don’t have to go to bed at 8 pm every night (although some people would love that), but try to keep your sleep schedule consistent. If you go to bed around midnight one night, don’t go to bed at three a.m. the next. You might find yourself waking up at eight anyway and silently cursing your circadian rhythm. Not only is it easier to find the motivation and energy to exercise on a full night’s’ sleep, but you will probably also find yourself eating healthier and not craving so many Sour Patch Kids.

 

Do more lifting than the food you lift into your mouth

It’s totally okay to treat yourself to some of Grandma’s holiday apple crisp, but don’t make it the only thing you treat yourself to! Go outside, take a hike, run some laps around the track, pick things up and put them down, etc. Be active and your body will thank you. And as a side note, spinach doesn’t have to suck.

Winter break does not have to be a blissful yet unfulfilling bout of barrenness. Active people can take advantage of this time to get ahead, and those who are normally inactive have nothing to lose in pursuing something new.