Prevent a workout slump during the holidays
The holidays are approaching. These two holidays, and the culinary temptations they entail, mean a blip in sport participation for many sports enthusiasts. How can you remain fully committed to and not neglect your workout schedule? How can you resist all those delicacies and not go overboard? We spell out a number of tips that will help you enjoy Christmas and New Year’s without any guilt feelings at the festive table.
December is the month for convivial get-togethers with family and friends to enjoy many culinary delights (often excessively so). This break with your daily routine makes it ever so difficult to stick to your workout schedule and to eat with moderation. It is of course perfectly logical that you should eat a little more than normal in December, but that is no excuse to let the pounds pile up and to neglect your fitness.
If you have always managed to stick to your workout schedule, you will surely not want to throw a spanner in the works. Yet spending time with family and friends is important too.
Bear in mind first and foremost that there is no need to feel guilty if you postpone or even skip a workout session because of Christmas dinner. Better yet, just leave all guilt feelings behind and enjoy the moment with people who are important for you. If you are going to sin, you might as well go all the way. ;-)
You should moreover adopt a practical approach to the holiday season. Athletes who stick to a training schedule usually have a weekly break. So consider the Christmas holidays as your weekly training break, and run a little harder right after Christmas and New Year’s. In this way, you will hardly depart from your schedule and you won’t have a devil on your back during all the festivities.
Opt to work out in the morning. Not only will there be a diminished chance that you do not get around to it at all, but you will get it out of the way. It is always nicer to start Christmas visits with a good feeling.
You can always run hard, walk and cycle, but many gyms are closed between Christmas and New Year’s. Do not use this as an excuse not to exercise. Opt for a long walk in the woods, for instance, go to the Christmas market on foot instead of by car, go skating at one of the many artificial rinks that are set up during the holidays, go for a bike ride or go and swim a few laps at the local swimming pool. There are enough opportunities to get exercise, which can always be availed of to go on a nice outing with the family or friends.
Is the gym open? Draw up a schedule when you want to go and force yourself to stick to it. Bear in mind that gyms often adjust their opening hours during this period.
There are bound to be some days in this month when you eat more than usual, so make sure that you compensate for it sufficiently on all ‘normal’ days. It is very difficult to resist culinary delicacies once they are available at home. So buy only what is strictly necessary.
Is Christmas dinner at your house? Then you can opt to prepare a “healthy” meal, one that is just as tasty and at least as gastronomic. You can of course also opt for healthier snacks. Choose for vegetables with a dip for finger food instead of a fattening fried snack. After all, everyone is delighted when s/he can still get in his or her old clothes in January.
Sin with moderation
Needless to say, no one can resist delicacies. So enjoy them to the full, but keep an eye on the quantity. If you go out to eat but you do not want to let yourself go during the festive meal, then forego sauces and cream, as this will save you an hour’s workout; or restrain yourself when dessert is served. A cup of coffee or tea can also be just fine after a meal. Are you going to throw restraint to the winds? Then eat slowly and with great care. In this way you enjoy your meal more and can skip the other temptations.
And last but not least: make sure you compensate sufficiently for your alcohol consumption. Alcohol draws moisture from your body. Drink a glass of water for every two glasses of alcohol to prevent a horrible hangover.
So enjoy the holidays to the full and give yourself a well-deserved break, but only during the holidays!