Holiday Break Fitness Tips

1.  Stay Active

Use the Christmas break to do something active and healthy every day. If you have a gym membership then make the most of it when it’s more likely to be nice and quiet, but if you do not don’t think there is nothing you can do! It’s easy to go for a walk, a swim or a bike ride but you could also find something festive to do.

2.  Alcohol Awareness

We all like to go out in the festive season (and we’re not going to tell you not too!) but be aware of the implications of it! Alcohol inhibits the breakdown of fat; reduces the absorption of nutrients from your food; and is likely to increase appetite and therefore calorie consumption. You’re also less likely to do something active the following day if recovering from a hangover, so this Christmas reconsider the ‘Go on then, just one more!’

3.  Prioritize Exercise/Fitness

Make your workouts/exercise sessions a priority and create a fitness plan if necessary – try early morning sessions to get them out of the way so you can spend time with your family or other enjoyable activities.

4.  Don’t Skip Meals

While it might be tempting to skip meals to ‘save up for holiday treats’, it is actually counterproductive.  If you skip a meal your body thinks it is in a time of hardship (i.e. winter) and in effect goes into ‘survival mode’ burning less calories until it next receives food.

5.  Remember your Protein

Make sure you are getting enough protein. Protein is a very important macro-nutrient that is essential for the growth and repair of your body’s cells. Good animal sources are: beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, fish and milk. Good vegetable sources are: nuts, soy foods, bean and legumes, spirulina, chorella or blue-green algae (over 60% protein).

6.  Think Competitive

If you’re feeling competitive why not enter a New Years five kilometer (5K) running race or that local tennis tournament?  You’ll feel far more virtuous once completed than if you’d gone for that lunchtime Hamburger!

7.  Leave the Car at Home

When you go out to meet friends make the effort to walk there instead of driving or being driven there. It’s a good time for a chat, take in some scenery and helps keep you active.

8.  Get and Stay Hydrated

Make a conscious effort to drink plenty of water throughout the day and in-between alcoholic drinks. Staying hydrated helps your body counter the dehydrating affects of travel and alcohol. Water will also help satiate your appetite as thirst is often mistaken for hunger.

9.  Home Gym

If you want to do ‘gym type exercise’ but don’t have a gym membership or can’t afford one, set yourself up at home and get on with it there. There are numerous fitness sites championing the methods and benefits of exercise without too much equipment. A good place to start is with the Core Laser exercise and therapeutic training device which only takes 5-8 minutes per/day.

10.  Make it Count

Carrying out your exercise at a higher intensity will not only burn more calories but also raise your metabolism for longer and thus you’ll continue to burn calories long after you stop. Don’t just ‘drift’ through your workout with no real purpose – you won’t get out of it what you could!

11.  Stretch it Out

Take time to stretch. Even if you don’t do a specific workout use some of your spare time (or when your watching TV!) to sit down and combat the last few months of being sat at your computer to relieve those muscles and improve your posture. For best results perform each stretch at least twice and hold each time for 15 – 30 seconds.

Don’t wait until the New Year to make that resolution and change your fitness regimen, get started now!


Article Source:  Imperial College

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