THE festive season is an absolute minefield of drink, feeds, nights out and lack of sleep…and when it’s done right it’s one of the most enjoyable times of the year!
Outside of the social obligations to meet up with friends who are home for Christmas which usually ends up in catching up over a few pints I believe the main driving factor behind the festive fitness downturn is a lack of routine.
Without work or school to get up for it instantly throws you off and hitting the gym on the way to or from your day to day commitments can sometimes mean it’s scrapped altogether. The good news is that if you’ve been training regularly all year then a two week hiatus isn’t going to drag you back to square one. You’ve got enough in the bank that it’ll not do too much damage outside of you needing to burn off the dirty petrol in your first session back.
For the person who hasn’t done a tap since their season ended a big Christmas of over indulging and zero training will just make that first session back all the more hellish. So do yourself a favour and put together your Christmas training schedule NOW!
No one is asking you to train every day but if you’ve some time off and a little more flexibility to your days why not take advantage of that and slot in a few mid morning training sessions to keep yourself either ticking over or if you’ve not been at anything then reintroduce yourself to some of the movements you’ll undoubtedly be doing come January anyway. Squat, hinge, push, pull, lunge, rotate. Do some variation of those six movements, with weight, a handful of times throughout the festive period and your body will thank you for it come the new year!
The other side of the coin is diet. Food, drink and the abnormal amount of calories that seem to be consumed in December. Just because it’s normal that most people put on weight over Christmas doesn’t mean you do too.
Weight gain is a simple formula. More calories going in than going out means you gain weight. More calories going out than going in means you lose weight. I’m not suggesting you torture yourself by trying to be super strict with your diet over Christmas, I just think the more tuned in you are to how many calories you’re actually consuming the easier it is to manage your approach to eating.
If you know you’ve a massive feed ahead of you then cut back a little on what you’re eating leading up to and after that meal. Either reduce volume or choose lower calorie options. Nothing extreme just a self awareness that if you’re eating or drinking big then you need to peel back on your intake somewhere else in the week OR lap it up and be content in the knowledge that you’ll probably put a few pounds on. And to be honest, that’s probably what I’ll do.
I’ll try and play it as smart as I can but I intend enjoying my Christmas and if the pay off is a slightly tighter belt buckle come January 1st I’ll suck it up. For me it’ll be eaiser to piggy bank my tighter dieting protocols off a much quieter social life post-Christmas instead of feeling like I’m missing out on quality time with friends and family!
Christmas is a great time for some but a tough time for others so be sure to reach out and talk to your friends, especially any you think may be struggling at this time of the year. Look after yourself and have a good one!
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