By Gerard Healy, National Fitness Manager
Yet again it’s that time of year where we have a diary that is full of Christmas functions, work deadlines, late night Christmas shopping, cleaning out a spare room in preparation for the arrival of your in laws, Christmas lunch, Christmas dinner, Christmas left overs, Christmas drinks, Christmas holidays, New Year’s eve…. The list is never ending. There is no doubt these coming weeks are some of the hardest to keep up your regular training routine and some of the easiest to gain an extra 5kg!
If there are two things that could be certain, it’s the feeling we get about the 5th of January when we look in the mirror, and the feeling we get on the 5th of May when we stand on the scales and think about why we didn’t get back into training in January.
For many of us this time of year can be a slippery slide that can spiral out of control quickly. One of the keys to surviving the Christmas period is to have a plan in place. It is a well-known fact that only a small percentage of Adults practice written goal setting and planning. Starting this practice today by mapping out a plan and setting some goals to achieve over the next 4 weeks could dramatically reduce the chance of having a holiday period blowout.
Here are five essential tips when putting together a realistic goal setting planner for your health over the holiday period.
1. Commit to structured exercising at least once a week over the Christmas period. Keeping up your training just once a week will keep you in a habit of being in a training routine, even if it is reduced. Remember training once a week is 100% more than doing no training.
2. Get Involved in the party activities.Christmas events are just not the same unless there is a game of backyard cricket, volleyball, tennis, or even a swim in the pool. If you are at an event make the effort to get involved. Not only are these activities great fun and a passive form of exercise, they will keep you away from the party table full of fattening foods.
3. Don’t make every day a party.We have all done it at least once. We have 3-5 days of parties with bad food and alcohol but we get to the end of the holiday period and realise we have been drinking and eating junk every day for 3 weeks! Don’t allow this to happen. Put a plan in place to eat some healthy homemade meals and drink plenty of water on the days where there are no events on to balance out the body and re-charge the batteries.
4. Set up at least one day that involves a physical family activity. Its summer, the sun is shining and you more than likely have some days off work with the family. Make the most of it and plan an activity that involves some movement. It might be a walk around the local park or zoo, or even a family bike ride or day at the beach swimming. Whatever it is, some passive activity with definitely assist keeping your body active over the holiday period.
5. Set a party limit Again, we have all been guilty of it at least once. We go to a party and eat and drink until we are sick! And for many people over the holiday period this is how we treat every single event. Planning and setting a limit on food and drinks can make a substantial difference to any ‘holiday pud’ we may put on.
Set a limit of having one plate of delicious food at the party (not three to four), make sure there is lots of salad on your plate and also set a limit to how many drinks you will have. Be it four or six drinks, having a limit is better for your waistline than waking up with a sore head and cravings for hangover food…
So set out with some simple planning, follow some of these tips and you will be well on the way to maintaining your body over the festive season.