The holiday season can be a great time to unwind, especially during the world’s current ups and downs. Food and exercise can take a nose dive, however all does not have to be lost according to our resident fitness instructor and registered nutritionist Peter Antonio.
When exercising over the holiday period, try and be as prepared as possible. Check your local gym and pool with regards to opening times and guest pass options. This way, if family and friends would like to join you, then it can be a great way to have quality time, as well as keeping that heart rate up.
Eating is often a focal point at Christmas, and things can revolve a lot around food. This is a great activity to feel close with and connected to your loved ones, and should be part of this season. However, try and include other activities which are not food-focused. This might include going for a walk, attending a carol service, playing board games, watching a classic movie, or even just talking all together with some background seasonal tunes on. We rarely get time to properly catch up with one-an-other, so take the time to see how your loved ones are really doing.
If all those extra calories are of a concern this year, then take the time to research lighter options which might not be weighing you down months down the road. There are endless recipe options out there, so when you find one which you like the sound of, and is a lighter option than what you would usually have, stop the search and just go with it. Sometimes we can lose so much time trying to sift through the bottomless pit of options, that we don’t see the perfectly good ones right in front of us.
It is easy for many of us to feel like the holiday period will be some sort of ‘step backwards’ regarding our waist line and training routine/goals. This certainly does not have to be the case when looked at from a broader vantage point.
For many of us, moving our bodies and getting our heart rate up is just as important for our physical self, as much as our mental self. There is no reason why, with just your own body weight, you cannot do exactly that. It will not be the same as what you are used to, but this does not have to be a bad thing.
Often, we get stuck in the same kind of training and movement patterns, and our bodies are incredibly good at getting used to what we always do. Moving the goal post and doing something different forces our bodies to adapt (i.e., get stronger in some new way). Not only is this good for building on a new area of strength, but our usual routine, and the effect that has had on our bodies, can have a much-needed rest.
We all need genuine down time in order to adapt. Fact. If you do not choose to make this a priority, then your body will make this decision for you. Indeed, this is true for all areas of your life. Try and prioritise your fruit and vegetable intake, sleep, stretching/mobility, and water intake.
Take a step back and recognise if you have been allowing sufficient down time in your own exercise routine. Please feel free to talk to a member of the Gym or Swim team if you are unsure, and for ideas on what you can do exercise wise during the holiday season.
Life is a balancing act, and we can often find ourselves on the floor after having lost our step, with regards to what is important to us, and our families. You, and the relationship you have with yourself and others, is arguably the most important thing there is. Nurture the things that are important to you during this holiday season, and try not to get too caught up in the materialistic side of Christmas. This is called a holiday period for a reason, and shouldn’t leave you more stressed at the end of it.