It’s the time of year when fitness professionals and coaches wax poetic about holiday eating strategies, exercise plans, and minimizing the damage. You know, not blowing out your diet and gains during the holiday season.

Get on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or even Tik Tok, and you’ll find no shortage of how to handle the holiday from a health & fitness perspective. Anything from battening down the hatches and shunning all your family and friends to not giving a —– and going for your life.

This advice is well-meaning and meant to help and not hurt.

Crap, I used to be one of those people, and those I count as friends in the health and fitness industry still offer this advice. This is not to rain on their parade because everyone is entitled to their opinion. It’s just that I’m over it, and here’s why.

Holiday Exercise Advice Be Dammed

I’m tapping on my computer in a 2200 square foot home, warm, sheltered, and with a belly full of food. People pay me for something they could do for free and pay me to write words too. I am more blessed than I deserve, there is no doubt.

But not everybody is as lucky as you or me because, according to Google, 150 million people worldwide don’t have a roof over their heads, including over half a million Americans.  

Plus, as many as 828 million people go to bed hungry every night. The number of those facing acute food insecurity has soared – from 135 million to 345 million – since 2019. A total of 49 million people in 49 countries are teetering on the edge of famine. Both are pretty damning statistics.

Some worry about dragging themselves away from the table or making enough time for exercise. While others worry about staying warm (or cool) and wondering where their next meal is coming from.  

Those of us (including me) who are trying to implement strategies to stop getting fat, find time for exercise, and try to avoid family while people sleep without a roof over their heads.

Do you see the irony yet with this holiday advice?

It’s not that it is well-meaning because it is. And it’s not that it’s not helpful because it is, but it is a first-world problem, not a real-world problem. For this reason, I’m no longer writing articles dispensing advice on how to handle the holidays.  

Here’s Some Advice For You

Well, kind of because I said I wasn’t, and I changed my mind, like, halfway through writing this.  

There was a time when my wallet held nothing but dust, and there was no way to afford anything. Relying on the kindness of others is how I celebrated the season, and I remember it in a way that offers me perspective around this crazy holiday time.

Hopefully, the above stats give you pause when you’re worried about overeating during Christmas. Your health is essential at any time, including the holiday season. And overeating and exercising too little should always be a concern.

But remember, others go without when you’re worried about too much.

My advice is to enjoy the season, the food, family, and friends, and find some time for movement. And ignore the well-meaning advice from the guy with the six-pack who has strict diet discipline but doesn’t live in the real world.

Think about others this season who go without, and give a little of your good fortune to those less fortunate.   

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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