The Christmas holiday period is typically extremely busy and can also be extremely indulgent. In short, health and fitness is not generally found at the top of the list, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Yes, Christmas is a time of celebration, and often excess, frequently resulting in firm New Year’s resolutions to get fit and lose weight, so it’s not surprising that many people struggle to maintain a healthy focus in December. If your fitness takes a back seat at this time of year, you’ll probably identify with some of the following problems:
- I’m too busy with Christmas preparations to fit exercise into my day
- I get invited to loads of indulgent Christmas parties
- I love Christmas but I know I overdo the eating and drinking
- In January, I always have to try and make amends for the effects of the festivities
If any of those phrases ring a few bells, these tips can help you. To enjoy the Christmas celebrations and maintain a healthy focus, simply check out our festive fitness guide which includes:
- Maintenance exercise routines
- Time efficient exercise strategies
- Calorie saving ideas
Following these will ensure that when the festive season draws to a close, you don’t have a mountain to climb to get back in shape.
Resistance Training Workouts
A typical session with weights in the gym involves completing two or more sets of a range of exercises, with a recovery period of anything between 30 seconds and several minutes between each set. This recovery period is an essential component of your training, but it is time during the festive season that you can ill afford to spare. Instead of relaxing and recovering between sets, for a change, try carrying out complementary exercises during the recoveries, for example: alternating between the following muscles:
- Chest and upper back.
- Biceps and triceps.
- Abdominals and lower back.
- Quadriceps and hamstrings (front and back of legs).
Cardiovascular (CV) Workouts
Every workout should include a thorough warm-up and cool-down so there is no opportunity to save time there. However, in the main body of your session, there is an opportunity to reduce the duration but still get calorie burning and quality training benefits. Instead of doing a ‘steady-state’ CV session, try a few of the following time saving alternatives:
Five Minutes Brisk Followed With Five Minutes Easy
Whether you’re jogging outdoors or working out on a piece of gym equipment, alternate faster efforts with equal time recoveries. You get a greater training effect than just a steady workout and so you can cut your session time down yet still remain fit.
A Short, Intense Time-Trial
Again, any piece of gym equipment can be used, or walking, jogging or running outside. Decide on a time or distance that you’re going to exercise for and then after your warm-up, really go for it against the clock. It’s tough – but great training and a shorter session brings as many benefits as your usual longer workout. Always remember to include a thorough cool-down afterwards.
Hill Training Programmes
For a change, select a hill training program, vary the resistance on the rower, cross-trainer or bike, or simply put more effort in on the hills for your outdoor training. This way you are substituting more quality for steady-state training, so a shorter workout brings greater benefits.
For more advice cone and see us.