Not another year of Christmas un-fitness… [PART 2]
In Part 1 of this article, I talked about ways of getting around Christmas un-fitness with a change of routine, core strength & structured rest. Here in Part 2, I want to talk more about what to do if you don’t want to change things up, or if motivation is the biggest issue for you.
If you’re a fan of rigid structure and don’t wish to deviate from your normal routine, (nothing wrong with that), but find the motivation to exercise during the festive season to be a little hard to conjure up, then a surefire way to keep yourself active is good old friendship.
Not only can friends help by giving you company and making that lonely jog around the park a little bit more appealing, but they also become your accountability buddy – it’s not so easy to choose Netflix & Chill over getting your sweat on when your bestie is waiting for you outside
If friendship isn’t your forte and you’re more of a solo warrior, here are some other ways of reducing the chances of you choosing your reindeer Onesie over your Dri-fits:
- Sleep in your workout clothes, then get yourself out the door within 10 minutes of being awake. Over and done with before you’ve brushed your hair.
- If that’s a little extreme for you, try laying it all out in front of your bed, have your pre-workout snack ready to be consumed and set an alarm with the most “YEAH” song you can think of. Glam rock anyone?
- If you have a pet dog/lion/other animal that loves to move about, be compassionate – they would love to go for a run around with you. What’s better than bonding with your best pal and burning off all those pigs in blankets at the same time?
- Can’t face the outdoors today? Take advantage of your housebound mindset, get your domestic god/goddess on and clean that sucker from top to bottom. Obvious chores like dusting and vacuuming use large muscle groups and can burn about 100+ calories per hour!
- If that’s not quite enough for you, up the ante: de-cluttering, rearranging furniture, or any kind of activity that involves constant lifting or moving of items can burn anything from 200-600 calories per hour! Not to mention the feeling of smugness you’ll attain from not having a bedroom that resembles the fitting rooms in Primark. Just remember your workplace Health & Safety guidelines – lift with your legs, not your back!
If your gym is still open and motivation is not becoming a problem for you, then high five! But maybe the physical drain of consuming your own bodyweight in trifle has got to you; I know that when I go training after a day of not-so-healthy food choices, my performance really suffers, so this tends to be my biggest problem when it comes to the festive season.
Sugar, processed food and over-indulgence – it’s what Christmas is all about, right? I think everyone deserves a few treats around this time of year, but how do we go forward once we’ve indulged?
I like to give myself a 2-day window of eating whatever the heck I want. Usually, after that time I’ve eaten so much Terry’s Chocolate Orange that my cravings become fixated on spinach and broccoli. What I’m saying is that it’s fine to indulge, it’s not going to kill you and as long as you appreciate it for what it is – a treat – it’s not going to adversely affect your health in the long run. So once your indulging is over, it’s game time!
First thing, hydrate. Keep a big glass of water next to your bed so you can drink it as soon as you wake up, (this is good practice for every day and is hugely common in lots of cultures). Next, keep it simple: swap your morning cuppa for a green tea, or a hot cup of fresh ginger, lemon and some cayenne pepper for a kick!
Now, options; if you can get your workout done now, awesome – it’ll be out the way, win! If mornings are not your thing (I can relate), that’s absolutely fine, just make sure you wait at least 2 hours after a meal so that you don’t see that trifle again mid sit up. Whatever time you decide to work out, today is going to be all about fuelling your body with nutrient-dense, energy boosting foods to stop you feeling sluggish from the past couple of days.
Regardless of how you choose to take on the festive period, or even as a last resort if everything else fails, the following 3 choices can make all the difference to an otherwise health sabotage…
- Water is your best friend: it keeps you hydrated, alert and it’s pretty damn nice to your skin. Try to drink 2-4L per day, plus more when you workout (which you obviously do everyday, because you’re awesome, right)!
- Amongst the sweets, chocolate and cake, keep eating vegetables & protein. Just because you’re putting less than angelic foods into your tummy it doesn’t mean you should deprive yourself of these. The veggies provide you with lots of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre and the protein will help you maintain muscle mass (along with like, a zillion other awesome things). Remember, eat the rainbow – but be bias towards the colour green.
- Never underestimate the power of walking. Low intensity, constant movement. It gets the blood pumping around your body, aiding gaseous exchange & digestion and giving you energy. Grab a dog (or a willing friend or family member) and try to get at least half an hour’s walking in. Double points for reaching 10,000 steps in the whole day!
Whatever you decide to do during the holidays, plan it. This is true for both your nutrition and your physical activity. If it’s not planned and written down, it’s much easier to decide to skip it.
Now you’re ready to make Christmas un-fitness a thing of the past, and enjoy this holiday season with your head held high.
Are you ready to take control of your life? Book your free consultation with me today!