The Power of Christmas

December is speeding by. The holidays are rapidly approaching. This is the time of year where we may often find ourselves embracing more merry making than muscle making. However, one of the best examples of physical fitness in the modern world is all around us this time of year, you just may not have realized it.
Santa Claus.
Yes. I said it.
Santa Claus.
You may be looking at your screen now and thinking, “Is this Horton guy crazy?” The answer, I am here to tell you today, is no. While depicted as white-bearded and festively plump individual that eats too many cookies and drinks too much milk, Santa Claus is actually the most physically fit individual in existence, and can serve as a huge source of inspiration in both our lives, and our workouts. To really understand this, we must analyze what it is that Santa Claus does.
Santa Claus’ feats:
1. Carries millions of tons of toys and coal in a bag.
2. Visits millions of homes in a single night.
3. Fits through chimneys.
Let’s break down these feats to understand the training that Santa Claus has surely put in to be able to do them.

Carries millions of tons of toys and coal in a bag.
In what is no doubt the greatest feat of strength the world has ever known, Santa Claus carries a bag weighing millions of tons rather nonchalantly. He carelessly swings it over his shoulders, lifts it in a single hand with ease, and has the dexterity genius-level intellect required to pack billions of individual components into the bag in such a way that what he needs next is always on top. To be capable of this Santa Claus has surely been hitting the gym up at the North Pole and may focus primarily on exercises such as these:

Squats: these will build Santa’s legs and back, and help increase his bone density to be able to bear such an incredible load.
One Arm Rows: These will help enhance Santa’s grip strength, back strength, bicep strength and overall pulling power so he knows that without a doubt he can hoist his bad when he needs to.
Standing Rows: Santa has to keep a strong shoulder girdle to be able to manipulate such a heavy implement in his hands. I’m sue the north pole is full of very heavy candy canes for him to lift!

Let’s move on to Feat number two.
Visits millions of homes in a single night.
Now, some of you may be saying, “But it’s the reindeer that go so fast, not Santa!” Well, yes and no. Let’s look at the yes first. It’s true that to visit so many places in a single night Santa’s sleigh would need to move around the speed of a bolt of lightning, but don’t forget, he is driving this, and its open topped! The wind chill upon his face would be unreal, and would freeze a normal man solid, but not Santa. One thing that helps the body stay warm is blood circulation, so Santa must have an incredibly good circulatory system. What helps with this?
Cardio. Lots of Cardio.
And this goes right along with our next point. Once inside a house, Santa must move incredibly fast to lay out the toys and move back to his sleigh. How does he train for this? It is no doubt by doing the following:
Sprints: training his body to move in quick bursts will not only help increase Santa’s speed, but also help him increase his vascularization.
Distance Running: Santa also needs loooots of endurance to work at such a high capacity for a whole night! Getting in large bouts of cardiovascular exercise will help him do it.

Fits into chimneys
This last feat is just as important as the others. Santa must have incredible flexibility to be able to fit through such small spaces. How does he train for that?
Exercising in the full range of motion: This helps ensure that Santa does not lose any flexibility while doing all of his intensive training, and helps ensure he gets the full training effect in all part of his active muscle.
Stretching: Santa must keep himself limber with an intensive stretching routine. This is all the more important after his intensive training. We also gradually lose flexibility as we age, and so must be extra diligent to fight off this natural decline. Just look at Santa. He has been at it for centuries and he is still quite flexible. He must stretch all the time.

Doing all this exercise really puts a lot of strain on the body, and Santa is well aware of how to refuel himself so that he can adequately recover.
Cookies and milk.
He needs them!
The protein in the milk and the carbohydrates in the cookies are a perfect recovery food for Santa, and he gets it all for free. Clever man.
Today we took some time to analyze Santa Claus’ incredible physical feats, and the intensive training he no doubt used to reach such a high level. This holiday season as we make merry and enjoy ourselves, let us also remember Santa Claus’ example of physical fitness. Let’s all put time into reaching our own personal fitness goals and work hard so that we can earn our Christmas cookies, just like Santa Claus.
Until next time.
-Horton Doughton