Even if you are good throughout the year, sticking to your healthy fitness and eating routines, the Christmas and holiday season can throw your routine out the window. Therefore it is easy to feel that you can’t do anything about staying in a healthy state over this period.
Firstly, don’t punish yourself. It is easy for things not to go as planned when you’re out of your usual routine. Being hard on yourself won’t get you anywhere anyway.
So, these are some practical tips you can take going into the silly season:
• What are your non-negotiable fitness/wellness aspects?
You may not be able to do everything, but there may be a few musts that you will do over this period. For me, it is 2 strength training sessions, which will mean that I continue to maintain my muscle mass, which is important to keep my body injury free at work and maintain my metabolism. I ideally perform 3 sessions a week and would also add in a HIIT cardio session to improve my heart health. However, during this time my minimum, non-negotiable, is 2 strength sessions a week.
There is no right or wrong to this, you just need to decide what your minimum is and stick to it during this time
• Even if you fall off the wagon, you are not starting from scratch
Even if you eat too much, drink too much, or don’t exercise as much as you said you would, when you return to your routine, you are not starting from scratch. You may lose some of your fitness and may need to reduce your lifting load or training load at the start, but you will recover and get back on track, it will just take some time.
The mistake in this case would be to firstly give up all together, which means that you will never re-gain your fitness. Or secondly, expect to be back to where you were before you took a break, without taking some time to rebuild your fitness again. It’s okay to reduce your training weights a bit until you gain your strength back again, it will happen again, just not immediately. Going straight back to your previous lifting or training loads will mean that you can injure yourself, which will further slow your progress and slow your recovery even further.
• You can re-start by getting the help of a professional
The re-start of your training may be a good time to seek the help of a professional such as a Physiotherapist, Exercise Physiologist or Well-Qualified Personal trainer. This may even mean that your program gets completely re-vamped so that your outcomes are better than your previous results. This could take your training to the next level. There is nothing wrong with asking for help to get your further on your fitness and wellness journey
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