The holiday period is right around the corner. The turkey feasts will be eaten, the beers will be flowing, family and friends will be visiting. This will go on weekend after weekend from now, right up until January 2nd.
For me, there is no better way to celebrate the holidays than to spend time with family and friends, either at the dinner table or having a few beers and watching some sports.
This is pretty much what we will all be doing over the coming weeks. There will be plenty of food, plenty of drinks, and plenty of relaxation. What does this mean to the fitness enthusiast?
Well for starters, we are all getting in far more calories than we normally do during our regular day to day lives. Also, the source of the calories are nowhere near as nutritious as what we would be used to; high fat intake, high carbohydrate intake, and our fair share of alcohol.
The regularity of our meal times becomes inconsistent; we miss workouts and nurse hangovers, all part in parcel of the annual holiday period.
Burning Extra Calories
However, this may not need to be the case for us die hard fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders. We can still enjoy all the festivities and maintain a healthy lifestyle, keep our weight under control, and get in our daily workouts. I, for one, will be getting out in the fresh air, hitting the park and playing some ball with my family.
This is, as the saying goes, killing two birds with one stone. I'll be spending quality time with those I love and getting in a great cardiovascular workout. Now let me explain. Football, whether it is of the American or British variety, is a great workout. It is essentially an interval training session made up of sprints, jogging, and maybe even some rest periods.
"My family is not ready for football!" you say. This is a very common factor for most gym frequenters, either because their family members are too young or because they don't have kids and are spending the holidays with the parents.
Still, that is no excuse for not getting physical because no matter how well prepared each family thinks it is someone will be forgetting something. Whether it is one of the ingredients for the turkey stuffing or the bottle of wine, something will be needed from the store.
This gives you an excuse to get in a bit of cardio. Walk to the store, take the kids and get something out of it. Not only are you getting your daily workout, you will also build up that appetite so you can thoroughly enjoy the family dinner and not feel guilty about eating all that fine food.
It is also important to note that the big traditional dinner is no more than two days throughout the whole festive season; Thanksgiving and Christmas. The rest of the time we all still have to go to work and we all still have to live our normal lives.
This gives us the added advantage of still making the gym from Monday to Friday and getting in our regular weights and cardio sessions. But on the weekend it is a different story and this is where most people fall by the way side.
There are work parties, friends' parties, and/or family parties almost every weekend and what goes on here usually dictates what happens for the rest of the week. Drink too much and you will have a hangover that will last until Monday or even Tuesday, which in turn throws a spanner in the works with regard to your training schedule.
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This is where workouts are missed. The usual case is, you miss your first one or two sessions in the gym and before you realize it the week is over and you have not gotten in a single workout. This is a really common trait amongst gym goers, and can last the whole holiday period without even getting into the gym once.
So below I'm going to outline some do's and don'ts to keep you on the right track over the holidays so that we can all enjoy the six pack, while keeping our six pack! Alright so, enough of the touchy feely malarkey, here are my 8 simple rules for staying in shape over the holidays.
8 Tips To Stay In Shape Over The Holidays
Plan Your Holidays In Advance
Most of us know exactly what our schedule is going to be like over the holiday period. This leaves us with excuses for not being able to get to the gym.
Although sometimes we honestly just cannot help missing a workout. Remember "If you fail to prepare, then you prepare to fail."
Set Fitness Goals Over The Holidays
They can be simple goals such as playing ball each day or going for a walk. You don't have to train like a pro athlete.
If You Fall Off The Plan, Simply Start Over
Get in your gym workouts whenever possible, one workout is better than none. If we miss a scheduled workout simply get it in the next day.
Get In Quality Active Time With Family & Friends
Maintain A Consistent Eating Schedule
As we all know, eating regularly aids in keeping our metabolisms firing on all cylinders. If we keep getting our meals in every 2.5 - 3 hours, we are one step closer to staying in shape.
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Control The Size Of Meal Portions
Make The Best Choice As Often As Possible
When given a choice of a dish, which is more often than not the case, always choose the healthier option. The less fried and buttered food you consume the better off you will be come January 2nd.
Enjoy Drinks - In Moderation
I hope these few guidelines give you the tools to plan out and stick to your fitness regime over the coming holidays. The only barrier to staying in shape is you, yourself and your motivation so no more excuses!
Remember, proper planning and preparation prevents poor performance. So draw up a plan and stick to it, and we will see a leaner, fitter you with a head start on every other fat @ss that didn't make the effort over the holidays.