Preparing for the Holidays
You’ve worked hard all year to meet your fitness goals and you want to keep it going all the way into the New Year. As much as we look forward to the much needed and loved holidays, they can disrupt our usual training routine. It can be a bit demotivating to see months of training undone by a few indulgent weeks.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to get around that if you know how. If you are determined and resourceful enough, you can enjoy your holidays and still keep your fitness on track.
Find the Motivation to Stay In Shape
The holidays are definitely going to bring their fair share of temptations. Temptations to indulge in many of the tasty treats and temptations to laze around, relax and forget about training for a few weeks. While a little bit of this may be well-deserved, you need to find some motivation not to let yourself slip too far back.
Look Back At Your Progress
One of the best ways to get motivated for more results is to look at the results you have achieved this far. Didn’t it feel great to work and reach those milestones? Think of all the work you put in. Do you really want to undo all that and start all over again for a few quick-lived indulgences?
Look Forward to the Progress You Still Want to Gain
What drives many to strive toward something is a sense of purpose- an overarching goal that gives meaning to your life and that all subsequent goals fall into. In moments when our motivation is tested, we have to remind ourselves of this sense of purpose and why we are doing what we are doing.
When you see yourself reaching your goals in the near and far future, it can get you to push through that motivational slump the holidays may bring.
Set Challenging Post-Holiday Goals and Commit
Another reason many people may stray during the holidays is not having any clear-cut, immediate goals to work on during the holidays. This is usually the time between goals.
A great way to stay to on track is to sign up for a post–holiday challenge like a boxing match or marathon early in the year. When you know you have something to look forward to at the end of the festivities, it will make you think twice about letting your fitness go.
Practical Preparations for Holiday Training
So, you may not be able to stick to your usual training routine during the holidays as you may be traveling, having guests over or any other interruption to your usual routine. You may not have access to your usual training facilities. This is the time to get resourceful.
Know What You Are Working with
A lot of planning goes into a holiday, and fitness should factor into these plans. Once you know exactly what your options are, it becomes easier to plan workouts accordingly.
When booking your accommodation, should you travel, inquire whether there are any fitness facilities that you can make use of such as a hotel gym or a gym nearby that offers temporary guest memberships.
You do not always need official fitness facilities; look for great walking or running trails and even nearby parks. Any place that you can get your outdoor fitness game on.
Even if you are staying at relatives, you may be able to work out in your room, in their garage, basement, backyard…. Who knows? They may even have some old workout equipment stored away that you can use- Don’t be afraid to ask!
Plan Holiday Friendly Workouts
Holidays are a great time to try something new in your training. Make the most of bodyweight exercises, outdoor workouts. A set of resistance bands can help to maintain fitness levels when traveling.
It helps to research and master these workouts beforehand, so that the time and frustration of mastering new form does not put you off training when it is tricky enough. Knowing what you’re getting into will save further hassle, you will know which exercises are too noisy and clumsy to do when staying with guests.
Plan Ahead With Your Diet
One of the biggest challenges the holidays brings is resisting dietary temptations. Not only are there tasty treats all around you during this time, but it can be harder to access healthy options even if you wanted to eat better. With a bit of pre-holiday diet admin, you can eat well during the holidays.
Look for restaurants in the area that have a healthier menu. These days, most menus can even be found online and some restaurants will even email them to you.
Cook A Few Healthy Holiday Meals
Cooking for loved ones is one of the ultimate family bonding experiences. Take advantage of this when staying with family or friends by offering to help cook a few meals. There are plenty of delicious healthy meals and snacks that the whole family can enjoy. Research and try a new signature dish that you can contribute to the festivities.
Of course, you can still enjoy a few holiday treats. However, you may have to compromise. Allow yourself one indulgence per day or meal. It may be overkill to have the pre-meal snacks and the rich sides and the extra bread and the wine and the dessert, etc. We have to make choices - in life and in fitness!
Incorporate Fitness into the Holiday Activities
Exercise doesn’t always have to be rigidly structured to give you a great workout. The holidays are a great time to bring out your inner child and play. Include the relatives if you can. A family game of soccer and picnic at a park - even in the cold - can be the perfect holiday combination of fun, bonding and exercise.
Don’t be a Wallflower
Holiday festivities may see you attending some dance parties. Don’t be shy, get on the dance floor and show off your moves.
Going sightseeing? Choose long scenic walking routes over a bus tour. Check out some local hiking trails as good way to appreciate the natural beauty of a holiday destination while working up a sweat.
Work Fitness into your Holiday Errands
A great trick to sneaking in fitness is to wear comfortable clothes and sneakers wherever you go. Walking briskly through a mall or around town all day can give you a great workout. Even doing some holiday chores like spring cleaning and decorating in preparation can help.
Use Every Opportunity
You may not have a whole hour to yourself, but if you split your workout into five-minute segments, you will be amazed how many two-to five minutes breaks you can find throughout the day. This also works for those busy days when we are not on holiday break.
Luckily, most resistance bands fit into any size luggage so you are always prepared. Taking a small fitness break every hour adds up over a day, such as doing five minutes of bodyweight squats. If you commit to this, it can add up to hundreds of squats a week, which will really count throughout the holidays.
Train for Life with Gloveworx
We say it all the time here at Gloveworx, we train for life and balance is everything. We want you to enjoy your much-deserved holidays so that you can come back to formal training fresh and ready in the New Year. Try a Lightning Session for a quick, high-intensity workout to energize your body and mind for the holidays.