Burn off the calories with the Christmas tree dance

Burt's Eye View

Thanksgiving gorging has barely settled to a dull gurgle but there are tons more calories on the way.

You’ll chew on dinners, meals, banquets and cookie parties at every turn of the Day Planner. Christmas fudge will jump out at you at every turn, sort of like zucchini does in the fall, only with much more chocolate and sugar.

It’s enough to discourage a slender guy like myself. Well, I was slender once. I still am, I think, beneath all these layers of decades of holiday feasting.

It’s OK. By Dec. 26, you will have worked off every single one of those calories. Twice.

Think of all the waist bends and stretches you’ll complete Christmas morning alone picking up shreds of discarded wrapping paper.

You’ve already started your weight lifting program, which began in earnest with Black Friday shopping. Plus, lugging all those bags out of the car and stacking them in secret closets, then changing secret closets 13 times as the kids discover each hiding place, adds a terrific aerobic component to the resistance training. (You’ll have to resist the urge to haul it all back to the stores and forget the whole thing.)

Remember how your muscles ache every year from pulling all the bags and boxes out again to wrap and sack gifts for various get-togethers at relatives’ homes? Feel the burn! That whole pumpkin roll you inhaled is just going to leak out in pumpkin-spiced sweat.

Then there’s the pelvic twist of snow shoveling (it’s coming; it comes every year), ladder stepping to hang lights, the rowing motions of mopping floors, sparring with other shoppers before and after Christmas sales, and the curls of carrying rolls of wrapping paper, frozen hams and kids refusing to get into bathtubs.

You’d be surprised how many calories one can burn griping and spluttering and throwing screwdrivers across the room in disgust while trying to piece together the “some assembly required” toys.

So don’t give those cinnamon rolls and peanut butter balls another thought. You’ll faint without them. You probably need to bake more just to keep from shriveling up.

And the tree. Don’t forget the tree.

If you cut your own tree, that’s worth at least a whole pumpkin pie. Then dragging it into the house, hefting all the boxes of decorations from the attics, and all that cavorting in circles as you string the lights — hot chocolate with loads of marshmallows, definitely.

Then comes the traditional aerobic dancing on Christmas morning. That happens when you find the kids’ new Lego pieces and Barbie tiaras with your bare feet. You’ll hop from foot to foot, flapping your arms and bellowing — primal screams are good therapy and exercise for your lungs. To increase the workout intensity, add a dog or a couple of cats to the mix.

It’s a terrific dance routine, which almost always ends with making a snatch for the Christmas tree to steady yourself — and then you’ve taken the tree down! So the Christmas season workout helps you accomplish your goals, as well.

It’s a better workout and with more practical purpose than any 10-mile run could ever imagine.

So don’t let a single tinge of guilt bother you. If you see a bunch of frosted gingerbread men, eat the whole herd. You’re going to earn it.

— Work out with Cole at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.

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