So, what can we do now to help us maintain our current health and fitness levels throughout the holidays? Here are 4 simple tips to follow:
4 TIPS FOR STAYING ON TRACK
1. Plan ahead – The lead up to Christmas can be an extremely busy time in business with many of us working overtime to make sure we don’t have a mountain of work to return to after taking some time off. It is vital to look ahead at the next few weeks and identify where you can make time to train. This can be a simple walk or jog, getting that gym session in or even a home bodyweight based workout. Remember, the World Health Organisation recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise per week or 30 minutes per day (1). If we can manage this, we would be doing quite well.
2. Get it done early – While many of us might be accustomed to training in the evening, this may be a good time to change up our schedule and try working out in the morning before the hectic day ahead. Working out in the morning will make you much more likely to maintain your routine, it will help us to boost our metabolism and it can also improve our mood. As always, the best time to work out is the time that suits you, but give it ago, you might be pleasantly surprised and continue it on into the New Year.
3. Start with breakfast – Having a good breakfast every day will help to stabilise your blood sugar levels and thus control your appetite throughout the day. A healthy, nutritious breakfast will also help you perform better as it improves short-term cognitive function (2). Examples include porridge, eggs, fruit, fruit smoothies, greek natural yogurt etc. Drinking enough water is also essential and can help us to avoid overeating later.
4. Ensure adequate sleep – This is a major issue which many people struggle with during the festive season. We tend to get up later and stay up later with an overall reduction in quality sleep time. This can have many negative effects on our training, nutrition and performance. Obviously, we are all going to have late nights out but it’s vital to try and get between the 7 to 9 hour range where possible. If this isn’t achieved, a power nap the following day can be beneficial in the early afternoon.
So, remember Christmas should be enjoyed to the fullest. If you have been working hard all year to make health and fitness an essential part of your daily routine , you deserve to ease things back a little. But remember, too much and you can very quickly undo all of your good work. By following these tips, you can help to maintain your current levels of health and fitness and finally, don’t wait until January.