#234 Festive Fitness
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In the depths of winter I finally learned
that there within me lay an invincible summer.

Albert Camus

7 Festive Ways to Stay Fit

By Denis Faye

This holiday, let's burn more than Yule logs. For many people, the holidays are an excuse to lounge on the couch, watch the game, fill up on sweets, and do as little exercise as possible. But not you guys, right? No sir! You want to sprint into 2007 feeling fit and fantastic! You want Turbo Jam® so much this December that your kids start to think Chalene Johnson might come down your chimney instead of St. Nick. Right?

Not so much. We've been busting your booty all year and now most of us want a rest week or two . . . or three . . . or four. But just because you're not Pushing Play doesn't mean you can't keep those fitness levels up. Here are seven great ways to go about that.

  1. Caroling. Can I get a "fa-la-la"? Get a group together and cruise the neighborhood one evening, singing your favorite seasonal ditties door to door. Because it's cold outside, you'll be walking at a brisk, fat-burning pace. The only hard part will be passing up all the cookies and eggnog that'll be on offer—well, okay, maybe just one sip.

    Time: 2 hours
    Calories burned: 530

  2. Snowball fights. After hours of bad, holiday traffic, there's no better stress-buster than running around in your backyard and pounding your kids with packed snow. While you're at it, make a few snow angels for a warm-up.

    Time: 1 hour
    Calories burned: 350

  3. Sledding. While you're messing around with your brood, you might as well hit the slopes. No lift ticket, no hours in the car. Just you, a small hill behind the grade school, a sheet of plastic, and a date with destiny.

    Time: 2 hours
    Calories burned: 700

  4. Halftime football. No snow in your neck of the woods? Then let's hit the street for a little touch pigskin at halftime. Not only is this great exercise, but it's time spent working up a sweat when otherwise you'd be drinking beer.

    Time: 30 minutes
    Calories burned: 340

  5. Shopping. If you're looking for something indoors, this is the other great American pastime. Hit the mall and keep a brisk pace up between shops.

    Time: 4 hours
    Calories burned: 750

  6. Volunteer work. This is, after all, the time for giving. Three hours of your time serving up meals to the needy can benefit not only your spirit, but your waistline.

    Time: 3 hours
    Calories burned: 400

  7. Mistletoe and so forth. You know how it goes. Roaring fire, romantic lighting, and a moment caught under the mistletoe. First you steal a kiss and the next thing you know . . . let's go upstairs, honey. Looks like Santa's coming early this year!

    Time: 1 hour
    Calories burned: 225

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, just email us at mailbag@beachbody.com. If you'd like to receive Steve Edwards' Mailbag by email, click here to subscribe to Steve's Health and Fitness Newsletter.

Check out Steve's responses to your comments in Steve Edwards' Mailbag on the Message Boards. And if you'd like to know more about Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope.

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Ode to Recovery Formula

By Anna Eriksson, Success Story Manager

I finally decided to stop flirting with P90X®, doing Kenpo here and Ab Ripper X there—I started my 90-day program and joined the X revolution on Tuesday, December 5th. I ignored the supplements designed specifically for the program, like P90X Peak Recovery Formula, and found the Classic program unbelievably challenging. Still, it was bizarrely rewarding, even though I had to modify several moves like the pull-ups (Hello, CHAIR!) and I found that I was quickly losing mobility of my limbs.

As a 41-year-old woman, I was unaccustomed to not being able to walk up a short flight of stairs gracefully or even pull a shirt on without discomfort. I couldn't extend my arm fully to get things off of high shelves and hit a real low when I couldn't open a jar—I found that it required minor muscle engagement in my armpit that just wasn't happening.

I chalked it all up to "Bringin' It," and chided P90X creator Tony Horton that he was killing me. He reassured me, "Show up and everything is going to be just fine. Go, girl!" But that first week was painful.

Then I stopped ignoring everyone's question, "Are you drinking your Recovery Formula?" I got it from our production coordinator Mike Karpenko, from Tony, from Ned Farr (the P90X TV show editor), and from all the guys in Operations who do P90X. It all ran together, "Hey, Anna! You're finally doing the X! Are you drinking your Recovery Formula?" That first week I'd ignore the question and just tell them what a revelation P90X was and how I was discovering that I could do so much more than I'd ever believed.

Yesterday, I was in turn excited and dreading Chest & Back because of the soreness and loss of mobility I'd experienced last week. When it was time to Bring It, I logged in to WOWY® (Work Out With You, our online gym), said hi to my peeps, cruised into the gym, and had a ball pulling myself up and doing Dive-Bomber Push-Ups and Back Flys. It's indescribable!

Then I did something I hadn't done last week. I walked, as I've seen everyone else do, into the Beachbody kitchen, dumped 2 scoops of Recovery Formula into a big glass, filled it with cold water, stirred it, and HEY! It tasted like a Dreamsicle. A really yummy Dreamsicle! The improvement was immediate! I didn't have trouble steering my car like last week. I didn't beg my husband to comb my hair like last week, and I had no loss of mobility.

This morning I feel 1000% better than I expected to after Chest & Back. I was still pulling up the same body, still hefting more weight than I thought I could in my Lawnmowers and there was virtually no way that after one week of the X I'd made that kind of improvement physically. It's obviously the Recovery Formula.

So why did it take me so long to follow that advice? Am I that jaded that I immediately ignore anything someone tries to sell me on? Am I programmed to believe that if someone says a product (let alone a supplement) is that good—they must have ulterior motives?

I don't know what made me belly up to the Recovery Formula bar, maybe it was Tony's advice during the workout that I just blindly followed—but my chest, back, shoulders, neck, and abs are thanking me for it. Next time Tony gives advice, I'm just gonna take it.

Now I am completely jazzed for what I can accomplish (and discover about my body) in the next 81 days! I'm doing my best . . and forgetting the rest!

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, just email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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