‘Tis the season to be jolly…and unfit!’
Even the most dedicated gym goer and fitness fanatic can feel disheartened and demotivated over the festive period. You may have the strongest will in the world or my just genuinely enjoy the gym, but pre-arranged gatherings and the most amazing food and drink spreads can sometimes make eating healthy and keeping fit impossible over the Christmas period.
I wanted to take this time to share a few of my little tips to stop you from completely falling off the bandwagon during the festive season! I hope they help!
1. Don’t set yourself up for failure
This is definitely my number one tip for maintaining your healthy regime throughout Christmas. Unless you are absolutely 110% dedicated, I would not recommend starting an extreme fitness routine or diet plan right before the festivities start. Instead, I would adopt a maintenance strategy. The only ‘goal’ I set myself over the Christmas period is to do my best not to hinder my progress too much. If I can get through December and still be around about the same shape I was in at the beginning, then I will be happy. For example, my usual 5/6 day routine in the gym slips down to 3/4 days a week. Because I have already prepared myself to do this, I never feel disappointed for not reaching unrealistic goals at this time of year. Someone once told me that 5 times a week in the gym will allow you to see progress, 3 days a week will maintain what you have and less than two is not enough.
2. It’s all about balance
I never stop myself from indulging in my favourite treats at Christmas. You can’t walk into a room without there being some sort of naughty food or drink offered to you! If I really feel like something, I will never restrict myself…but I just make sure that I counteract it with a gym session or a healthy meal afterwards. Remember, if you are used to eating healthy and visiting the gym regularly, then you will feel different when you reduce these dramatically over the December period. Add some easy healthy choices to your day that won’t ruin your fun. For example, drink a pint of water every time you eat, reduce your salt intake etc. These small changes will physically and psychologically allow you to feel like your doing something good to your body.
3. Your gym doesn’t define exercise
There may be times where the gym just becomes completely impossible, like if your going away for example. Your gym doesn’t define exercise. You can easily incorporate fitness into your everyday routine without the hassle of actually going to the gym. Park your car further away from your destination (such as the supermarket) and walk the rest. Add an ab circuit into each advert break when watching TV or squeeze some press ups in whilst waiting for your partner to get out of the shower! Exercise can make you feel so much better about yourself mentally even if it is hasn’t benefited you physically…so you don’t always need a 60 minute gym session to feel fantastic!
I hope you found these tips helpful!
Remember…the most important part of festive season is that you enjoy. Indulging and reducing your gym sessions isn’t going to take you all the back to square one…your January motivation will get you back on track sooner than you think!