Strategies to stay fit over the Christmas period
Between parties and family obligations, it can be pretty tough to stay active during the holiday season. Along with last-minute shopping means that hitting the gym / classes can often get delayed or crossed off the schedule altogether!
We can also come off the rails with our good eating habits, always making the new year a great time of year for me, as everyone has that strong desire to get back on track.
Although this does not have to be the case, with the right program in place and proper planning, you can maintain your fitness levels while still enjoying time with the family.
Here are some tips for you to help you stay on track:
- Plan your training – If you know you are due to go away to visit family or friends, make sure you manage to hit the gym before you go, or even find the time while away to go for a run/long walk, or do a quick HIIT workout early one morning before everyone wakes. (this leads to tip number 2) HIIT can be using your own bodyweight – if you can’t make the gym then you can still get a great workout in using just your bodyweight. Bodyweight workouts can be done anywhere using little to no equipment and usually take 20 minutes or less. For example, set a timer for 20 minutes and see how many times you can go through the following circuit: >10 Burpees > 20 Mountain climbers > 30 Jumping Jacks > 40 Reps jumping rope > 30 Jump squats > 20 Push-ups > 10 Reverse lunges
- Get up early and GO…While work commitments die down over the holidays, family commitments ramp up. Change up your schedule to hit the gym earlier to get a workout in before anyone gets out of bed. This way you get your workout in and have plenty of time for getting all the busy holiday stuff done during the day.
- Recruit a training partner - While it's hard to motivate yourself to get going on cold mornings, it's easier if you aren't doing it alone. Find a workout partner during the holiday season to stay motivated.
- Accumulate Volume - Although you may not be able to squeeze in one single workout a day, you can use small, shorter workouts throughout the day to get a workout in. For instance, every hour starting at 8AM until 8PM, perform 20 push-ups and 20 bodyweight squats in as few sets as possible. By the end of the day, you'll have done 260 reps of each!
- Keep evaluating yourself- You should continually evaluate your progress to determine if your program is taking you closer or farther away from your goals. During the holiday season, this is especially crucial. You'll be more likely to push away from the table sooner if you see the results (or lack of) in black and white. Record your progress and track yourself every two weeks during the winter months to stay motivated.
- Indulge and Resist- With all of the tasty treats on the holiday table, it's hard not to give in and eat a week's worth of calories in one sitting. There's no sense in depriving yourself from enjoying your favourite foods. Pick the ones you want to indulge in, but limit yourself to one serving. Once you're done, pull yourself away from the food or ask for it to be cleared away, You'll be less likely to dig in for seconds when the food is out of sight, or not in reach.
- Set a challenge - Each year, Runner’s World magazine challenges readers to run every single day, (logging at least one mile per day) between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Pounding the pavement not your style? Create your own challenge, whether it involves trying a new bodyweight exercise every day, testing different yoga poses, or experimenting with an unfamiliar running workout.
- Treat yourself - No, not to that extra glass of wine. If it’s within your budget, indulge in new workout clothing, or fitness equipment before Christmas to boost motivation throughout the holiday season.
- Start a fitness tradition - There are tons of family-friendly holiday-themed running events in most areas. Sign up the whole family (don’t forget the costumes) for a fun, goofy Turkey Trot or Jingle Jog. Before you know it, the annual race will become a family tradition.
- Most importantly, Act like a kid - Childhood winter favourites like sledding, snowball fights, and ice-skating get the heart pumping. Head outside for a sneaky (and super fun) workout.
Don’t wait for new year to start or reach your goal…Keep going, how better to to start your 2018?