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Foolproof fitness

IT’S THAT TIME of year again—time to board a plane, hop on a train, or jump in a shady rideshare to head home for the holidays. While I am happy my hometown of Vancouver offers me some temporary separation from the library and lecture halls of the University of Ottawa, I am also disappointed that it is far from the gym I pay for as part of my tuition fees.

How is a student to keep up a workout routine during the holidays? Don’t bother cashing a Christmas cheque from grandma to pay for day passes to the expensive gym near your parents’ place. If you’re in the same gravy boat as I am, never fear: It is possible to break a sweat without breaking the bank. Simply follow this routine during the holidays, and encourage your friends and family to join in, too!

Bicep curls

Head to the old freezer in the garage and grab two rolls of Pillsbury sugar cookie dough—you know, the kind with deformed snowmen and snowflakes in the middle. While you wait for the oven to preheat to 350 F, do three sets of 10 curls with those sugary rolls of goodness.


Stuck at a Christmas party fielding endless questions from elderly relatives about “that nice boy on your Facespace, the one with the moustache”? Cornered at a neighbourhood cocktail party hearing all about your high-school enemy’s 3-carat, princess-cut engagement ring from Tiffany’s? Perfect time to fit in some cardio. Whip out a stopwatch and time how long it takes you to pull an excuse out of your ass, bundle up in winter gear, and sprint out the door and home.


If you’re like me and you live far away from home, you likely took every worldly possession with you when you moved away. So when the time comes to hit up the local ski hill and the only snow pants your parents can track down are a dusty pair from back when you licked markers, take the opportunity to do some squats. Insert one leg at a time and pull up. Repeat until you successfully fit into the pants or until your parents start yelling for Becel and a shoehorn.

If you’ve been hitting the eggnog hard and couldn’t tell, this routine is more humorous than it is effective. In any case, happy holidays to all my readers and I’ll see you in the gym come January!

—Sarah Horlick