We all know how difficult it is to eat well and train at this time of year. Sometimes family and friends just don’t understand your fitness and nutrition goals and let’s face it, the short, cold and wet days are not very appealing and there’s an awful lot going on indoors to distract us!
To help you through the holiday period, we have 5 tips for maintaining some sort of form in the face of the many challenges that you are going to face. However, before reading the tips, please remember to pay attention to what really matters – Put the focus on family, friends and enjoying the holidays. Whilst food and exercise are always important, and balance and moderation should be your usual guides. It’s okay to indulge once in a while. Don’t go mad. Just make sure that you relax and take the opportunity to enjoy the company of those you care about.
1. Check your attitude. If you go into the holidays thinking that you deserve to indulge there is a real danger of blowing everything. Remember your goals for next year – whether weight-loss, fitness or sporting goals – and you will be less inclined to undo all of the good work that has brought you this far.
2. Make “trade-offs”. Whilst enjoying a balanced diet is the key to long-term health and fitness, there may be times when you are going to have to over-indulge. (Like when your mum insists that you have extra helpings of her delicious home-made mince pies – with cream!) Those extra calories cannot be ignored; cut back elsewhere to make room for them. It doesn’t matter if you cut back in advance or address the surplus afterwards, but don’t ignore it!
3. Cut back on your training volume. If you don’t feel that you have the time to get out and train for an hour, do 45, 30 or even 20 minutes. Anything is nearly always better than nothing. And, just like regular training can become a good habit, not training can very quickly become a very bad one!
4. Increase your training intensity and train less often. If you can see that family and social commitments are going to make it impossible to train on certain days, enjoy the rest on those days and train harder on others. Go faster, go further or lift more.
5. Get support from your training partners and your most inspirational friends. You may all have different plans for the holidays, but you can support each other by phone and email. Before you go your separate ways, you could even promise each other that you will definitely make it for certain training sessions, whether you are going to train together or not.