Holiday breaks, especially ones around the festive period of Christmas, have always been notorious for allowing one to pile on the pounds. For me, it's not so much the temptation of mince pies, mulled wine or Celebrations (I'm not a big fan of festive food and I don't eat chocolate) but the fact that you're staying inside all day, lazing around and not exercising.
My regular school routine features a lot of the exercise which I'd normally do. Every morning brings a speedy 40 minute walk and the rest of the day includes a heavy regime of stair-climbing - yes, I'm serious. Plus there's the complementary use of the gym... whilst during the holidays, you actually have to make an effort to get off your bum.
But there is an upside to all this. Normally, my exercise is mainly functional: getting places, as fast as possible. However this Christmas break I have decided that I am exercising of my own free will and it is a completely different type of exercise. It incorporates all my favourite elements of more 'conventional' techniques. Most of the time, I am speed-walking, a pace which comes naturally to me and which I find uplifting and relaxing. But there are also long interludes of jogging, until the December wind gets too strong or I get bored. And occasionally, when I feel my energy bubbling up inside me, comes the sprint. There is no set speed, distance or gradient like on a treadmill. If I fancy something hike-like I can determine my route accordingly. Sometimes I just go for the most picturesque path possible.
There is something so wonderful about doing it your way. I am (sort of) capable of a hardcore run or a 300000 mile hike with a 300000 tonne backpack, but it comes with so much more pain. Running/walking/jogging... my way my head is completely cleared of any thoughts other than a song stuck in my head or if I'm about to go left or right. My way I get to keep up the exercise whilst enjoying my holiday break.