EDITOR'S NOTE: Cole was on vacation in Virginia Beach and refused to write a Christmas column without snow. Here is a Cole Classic first published Dec. 25, 2005:
It's Christmas Day, so chances are you're awash in shredded wrapping paper and cookie tray calories.
The latter is why we need a post-Christmas dinner exercise program. Otherwise, we fill out the Santa suit long after it's necessary.
So let the workout begin:
STRETCHING: One always should stretch before any serious exercise. Fortunately, you already did. Decorating the tree and house, reaching ornaments and lights all over the place - there's no need for further stretching today.
SQUATS: We're not talking about plopping heavily loaded barbells across our shoulders. That would build muscles, muscles weigh more than fat, and you're heavy enough already. This is why chocolate chip cookies are much better for your figure than weight lifting.
Christmas squats are all the bending needed to pick up the several inches of wrapping paper strewn about the floor. Plus, you can work on your jump shot tossing wadded paper balls at the trash bag.
This is an excellent aerobic workout, though a body can get winded from all that squatting. I advise hitting the couch for a nap. In fact, I advise that after every exercise. To prevent injury.
DASH: Chasing squealing kids about the house after they steal each other's presents will get that blood pumping. The blood pressure, too.
If you don't have any kids, call friends who are parents. By 3 p.m., they will be eager to loan you theirs as they will have had all the exercise they can stand.
OBSTACLE COURSE: If you thought ahead, you gave someone in the household a dart gun, water pistol, paddle ball or some other projectile launcher. This will ensure leaping over couches, stools, chairs and the cat trying to duck and dodge flying objects.
The sweet potatoes and stuffing calories should be worked off sufficiently by 3 p.m. Now you're free to loan your kids to friends who have none so they can exercise and you can nap.
POLYMETRICS: That aggravating ritual of packing and unpacking the car for all those trips to Grandma's house and everywhere else could be the single greatest Christmas Day exercise - particularly if done on icy walks and snowy driveways.
There always seems to be more gifts, covered dishes and emergency changes of clothing that need lugged out of the house than there's space in the car to pack them. Then it all has to be unpacked a few miles later and hauled into Grandma's.
You can count on having even more stuff to pack and unpack on the return trip, only none of it will be in neatly wrapped boxes. This increases the degree of difficulty and possibly exercises your vocabulary as well as your muscles. Now you know why you should have mailed everything a week ago, even if Grandma lives only two miles away.
SELF-DEFENSE: You can get quite a workout fending off all the relatives trying to force-feed you even more helpings of Christmas dinner. So I've heard. Personally, I was raised to be polite, so usually feign interest in every dish set before me - up to three or four helpings.
I'm sure there are more exercises but I've worn myself out typing these. So you get busy. I'll be over here taking a nap.