Christmas is generally a time of year when people enjoy themselves and let loose a little, but with that enjoyment comes disruption to otherwise regimented daily routines.
Lack of ample opportunity to exercise and increased calorie consumption can contribute to losing track of fitness goals – and it is challenging to get back to healthy habits in the new year.
However, just because it is challenging to resume your fitness regimes after the Christmas period, doesn’t mean it is impossible.
Nutrition experts at Bulk have highlighted five tips to ease you back into workouts post-Christmas.
Schedule your workouts
It is easy to lose motivation after the festive break, as your body has adjusted to time away from the gym. If you aren’t scheduling your workouts come the new year, it makes it even easier to make excuses not to exercise.
Look at your weekly schedule in advance and aim to add a slot for working out when you have the most free time. Doing this will get you in the right frame of mind beforehand and reduces the risk of you telling yourself that you’re too busy to exercise.
Resuming work after Christmas is another adjustment to contend with, so having a schedule allows you to choose a time when your workload won’t take over.
Don’t push yourself too hard
This may seem counterintuitive, as at any other time of year pushing yourself is encouraged when it comes to working out, but it is sensible not to overexert yourself after a layoff.
Whether you are focussing on cardio or weight training, overuse injuries such as muscle strains can occur if you over exercise – which will only hinder your progress.
Remember to slowly and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your sessions – it is vital not to be discouraged if your performance isn’t at its pre-Christmas levels. It won’t take long to see improvements with consistency, plus taking it slow avoids feeling burnt out which is a key reason why people tend to give up altogether.
Tailor your workouts to your lifestyle
Contrary to popular belief, gyms aren’t an essential requirement for staying fit and healthy. You can utilise various environments for exercising, allowing you to tailor them to your lifestyle and ensure they are as enjoyable as possible.
If you’re a fan of nature, choose exercises that embrace the outdoors, such as running, cycling, or walking.
Alternatively, if you enjoy a cosy atmosphere, you can invest in home workout equipment such as dumbbells and kettlebells if you want to build muscle. For an intense aerobic workout, find a spacious area in your home, grab an exercise mat, and follow a HIIT workout from your phone or television.
Find a fitness partner
Extra motivation can be found by having a friend who shares similar fitness goals to your own. If you’ve planned a workout with a fitness partner, you’ll have the added incentive of not wanting to let them down by not attending. As well as this, you can push each other to achieve more such as running faster or lifting heavier.
A fitness partner can also help keep you focussed on your goals and help keep you on track. There is also the social side of having a partner, meaning there’s more chance you’ll look forward to the workout, too.
Implement short-term goals
Long-term goals are important to help you decide the exercises you need to be doing consistently but they can be frustrating if you aren’t seeing progress as quickly as you desire – which could lead to you admitting defeat and giving up, especially after a long lay off from exercising.
Therefore it is more beneficial to set more feasible goals over shorter periods to keep you motivated upon meeting them. It is also important to implement goals that aren’t solely appearance-based to help you keep track of your progress – such as improving your 5k time or increasing your hip thrust load month on month.
A spokesperson from Bulk said: “Falling out of any sort of routine is always a challenge – but fitness is particularly tough, as it can be easy to make excuses and lose motivation. “
“It’s natural for physical activity to decrease over the Christmas break, and it’s important not to feel guilty. The festivities occur only once a year, so they should be taken advantage of; by following these five steps, you’ll be back into your exercise routine and seeing progress soon enough.”
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