Tips for keeping up with fitness over the holidays

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Tips for keeping up with fitness over the holidays

As the holidays like Christmas and new years are a busy time of year, things like fitness can be overlooked and possibly forgotten. As you are probably rushing around sorting out presents and wrapping them, finding time to go to the gym can be a challenge, and in this article, we are going to be sharing what you can do to keep u with your fitness over the holidays. Although it may seem like there is no time in the day, planning your activities will allow a good balance of work and pleasure.


Benefits of training over the holidays

Keeping up with fitness and staying in shape over the Christmas period can offer many benefits. One of these includes that we will not gain as much fat over the Christmas period as during these few weeks we are all guilty of eating a bit too much. As we are eating more, so you do not put on the pounds it is a good idea to keep up or start getting more active. Staying active will also reduce the amount of progress you could have possibly lost over the Christmas period so training in the new year will be easier and will not be so much of a shock.

With the Christmas and new years rush there comes a lot of stress and keeping active can be a way to relieve some of this stress.  This is due to exercise and physical activity releasing endorphins, which are chemicals in your body that can make you feel good and elevate your mood. Exercising regularly will also improve sleep, and as we all know sleep is very important when it comes to physical and mental health.


Make a schedule

As at this time of year you can be quite busy it would be a good idea to try and make a schedule for your days. This involves planning out your days in a diary so you can prioritise things and reduce the amount of time wasted doing nothing. For example, a Monday could look like: finish work at 5 pm then go shopping at 6pm then gym at 8pm. This can reduce stress levels as your day is planned and you do not need to worry about finding time for activities. You will also reduce the chances of you undereating due to your busy schedule as you can allocate time for meals.  

Having a daily routine can also help you stop any bad habits that are bad for your health. For example, if you go to the bar after work and stay there till you feel like going home, having a routine could help you limit the time spent at the bar or cut it out altogether. In the time space you spend at the bar you could schedule a gym session or get something else more important done. This helps reducing things that are harmful to your health like drinking and smoking.


Do quick and effective workouts

As your time in the gym is going to be limited as you are busy and have other priorities, making your workouts shorter is something that you can do. There are many different approaches you can take when doing this, one way is to try and do similar things but incorporate supersets and circuits to speed things up. Another way is to re write your workout and make your days shorter. For example, you could make your chest day shorter by doing supersets and increasing the intensity.

There are also many other benefits that come with increasing the intensity of your workouts and making them shorter. One of these includes that you will get more benefits like burning more calories. An example is swapping out your long run for some HIIT cardio. Doing the HIIT will cause more calories to be burned and muscle to be gained. Elevating your heartrate with high intensity workouts will also reduce you resting heartrate and reduce blood pressure.


Do not be afraid to exercise late or early

One thing you can do, that will really show your dedication to your training, would be training early or late. This means you will have to go to sleep later or wake up earlier to get your training into the day. Doing this will likely improve your motivation towards an activity as you are willing to sacrifice your rest time.  There are also many other benefits associated with working out early in the morning, this can include fewer distractions as gyms and streets are usually quite empty at these times. Another benefit is that you have increased energy and better alertness. This is due to cortisol levels being higher in the morning and cortisol is the hormone that keeps you awake and alert.

On the other hand, training later in the day can have a few negative effects on your performance. As you have just had a busy day you will likely be tired, and this will negatively affect your performance and concentration. You will also fatigue quicker as your muscles have been used throughout the day. Engaging in vigorous exercise before sleep can also cause you to have trouble sleeping. Although this negative effect depends on the person as a few people have reported improved sleep when exercising before bed.


Don’t waste time

Although everyone enjoys sitting in front of the tv watching their favourite series its not a necessary task and should probably be put at the bottom of the priority list. During the holidays we probably waste countless hours on Netflix or YouTube, watching things that have not benefit to us. We could convert these hours into precious training time and be doing something that is making us healthier. On average a person watches over 22.5 hours of Netflix per week and this time can be put to something more productive.

Although this time is not really put to any productive use you do not have to stop watching tv altogether. This time is good for mental health as it gives you a chance to wind down. Many things you may be watching may also have some educational value so you can use this time as a chance to learn something. This does not just apply to tv and can be relevant to many things like playing videogames or watching streams.


In conclusion, there will always be time for training if you are really dedicated to what you do. If it is getting up early or not watching Netflix there are sacrifices, you can make to ensure you get your fitness into your busy schedule. Although your training may have altered to fit into your routine, this is still better than missing physical activity. Missing your training can put a stop to your progress and this makes it even harder when it comes to normal life after the holidays.