Getting Back into Fitness After a Festive Break

It’s only natural to let your health and fitness routines slide over the Christmas period. Most of us start preparing for Christmas at some time in November nowadays and just get busier and busier as the big day draws closer. This can mean that your exercise routine slides. Few of us have time to hit the gym or go for a run as often as we would like in the run-up to the holidays.

Even if you manage to keep things up while juggling work and Christmas prep, you’ll have probably given yourself a bit of time off between Christmas and New Year. It’s the chance we all need to overindulge and relax with our friends and family, and it’s absolutely fine to take a break.

While a few days, or even a week or two, away from your usual routine won’t hurt, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things, especially if you’ve had an extended break. It can be all too easy to find yourself making excuses well into January. Then, before you know it, your fitness levels have dropped, and the idea of exercise fills you with dread. To avoid this, it’s important to get back into fitness as soon as your celebrations are over, even if you are still indulging on festive treats and leftovers. Here’s a look at some great ways to ensure you get back out there.

After a break, this woman is running on the trail again

She returns to her exercise routine now that the business of Christmas has come to an end. Photo via Pixabay (CC0).

Deal with Any Injuries

If you’ve had an injury while you’ve been off, you may need to do a little more preparation. Even an old injury can cause problems after an extended exercise break. If you’ve been involved in an accident, look into the Main Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit and see a doctor before you even consider exercising.

When you are ready, and you’ve had the OK from a doctor, take your time. Start with gentle walks or go for a swim to get moving. If you are struggling with a specific area, try alternative workouts that focus on different muscle groups. Whatever you do, listen to your body. Don’t push yourself too hard, take your time and rest when you need it. You know your body better than anyone, remember, there’s no rush, it’s OK to return to fitness in your own time.

Find Something You Love

Workout in a new way now that it's January

She tries out Zumba and loves it! Happy 2018 🙂 Photo via Pixabay, CC0 Creative Commons.

You are much more likely to stick to exercise and get great results if it’s something that you enjoy. This is different for everyone and can change all of the time. If you were running before Christmas, but now find you are making excuses not to go out, maybe it’s time to take a break and try something else. Swimming can be a great way back into exercise, especially if you’ve got an injury or medical condition, as it’s gentle and the water reduces any friction on your joints.

If you are struggling to stay motivated in the gym, try something else on your visits. Cardio workouts are brilliant for burning calories, but you may find that weights are actually more effective. When you lift weights, you speed up your bodies metabolic rate, which can mean that you continue to burn off calories long after you’ve gone home. Alternatively, if you usually lift weights, you may find that you enjoy the challenge of pushing yourself with some cardio exercises. Your muscle strength could give you a huge advantage.

Another option is fitness classes. If you struggle to stay motivated and push yourself in the gym, a class could be just what you need. When you’ve got someone telling you what to do, and people around you doing the same thing, you really get the most out of your time exercising. As opposed to wasting time wandering around the gym, not fully committing to exercise.

Treat Yourself

Shallow as it may seem, treating yourself to some new trainers or gym gear can encourage you to get out there moving again. Often when a writer is struggling, they buy new stationery to give themselves a push. It’s the same with exercise.

Get Targets and Goals

We lose motivation in all walks of life when we are without purpose. Exercising should always be done with the hope of becoming fitter, healthier and improving our quality of life. But, sometimes that’s not enough. Especially when you’re out of practice.

The targets you set shouldn’t be about weight. Reaching or maintaining a healthy weight is a fantastic benefit of exercise, but it’s important that you remember that there are others. Instead, focus on pushing your body and increasing your stamina. Enter a race in the summer and spend the next few months training for it. Set monthly goals of how far or fast you can run, or what you can lift and reward yourself when you hit them.

Get a Change of Scenery

Female stretching at a new location

Mix up your fitness routine to keep it interesting. Changing up the location can help. Pixabay photo (CC0).

Exercise can be boring. Doing the same thing all the time can be demotivating and dull. As well as changing your exercise routines, change your location. If you always run in a gym, go outside. If you already run outdoors, go somewhere different, try a new route with new scenery to look at.

Lift weights at home instead of at the gym. You could even take some equipment to the park, or try working out outdoors without equipment, using what’s around you. If you like to swim, try a different pool, or go at a different time when the atmosphere might be different.

Rest

Yes, it’s important to get back into fitness. But, it’s also important to recognize that your fitness levels will have changed and it might take a while to get back to where you were. Even one week off can have an effect. So, don’t try to do too much too soon. Spend a few weeks slowly building things back up, and make sure you have a day off after every workout.

Returning to fitness can help you drop the Christmas pounds, reduce your stress levels, help you to sleep and stop the January blues. So, stop making excuses and start moving!

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36 thoughts on “Getting Back into Fitness After a Festive Break

  1. Great Post, Christy! Happy New Years to you! Come Spring, or at least when we break out from the frozen tundra weather, I have full intentions for me & my roommate’s dogs to walk more often to strengthen my knees, and hopefully shed a few pounds. We both need to get healthier.
    🙂

  2. Very beautiful year of 2018 for you Christy and to all your family.
    A very good health because it is the main part.
    I kiss you
    Tony

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  4. Went for a 1 hour walk today.
    I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but when -10C is the high of the day, one can easily say no. As walking for hours is my mainstay exercise, I just can’t say no, although it takes a lot more effort, even before the effort.
    One needs to wear the correct thermal undergarments, several other layers and a windproof parka. I wear a thin wool glove, and have parka style mitts to layer off and on as needed. Also, a heavy wool sock, and toe warmers in my boots.
    A real wool scarf is needed. This can be pulled up and down over the lower part of the face as needed. The parka should have a hood that can be hiked up over one’s ear muffs and toque, as needed.
    Just the dressing and undressing of winter gear is a calorie burner.
    Unfortunately, when the temperature drops below -10C, bare skin can get frostbitten in minutes, but -10C and above is very manageable.
    I add here that the only other thing that can keep me from walking is heavy ice on the streets.
    No walk is worth slipping, and breaking a bone.

  5. The post serves as a timely reminder to myself as I have been off exercise for last four months literally weighed down by academic engagements. It is also a pleasant opportunity to greet you, Christy, and wish you a lot of wellness as you continue prescribing it to others…😋

  6. Great advice. I am an avid crossfitter but I sustained a bad back injury beginning of December so I have been off the entire month. Time to kick in back into gear. Slowly of course !!

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  9. “Find something you love”…I love training in the gym for martial arts as I see the benefits of all the work in the gym – cardio, flexibility, core strength – during the martial arts training. I really don’t think I’d bother with HIIT etc otherwise

  10. As a soft tissue specialist…movement Analyst…and elite performance coach who runs a clinic…fixing broken people and working with professional athletes…I have to say…I massively commend you for this post.

    I don’t say that often…at all.

    The more I read through WordPress… I’m sad to say…the less expertise and professionalism I seem to find.

    I respect the ideologies and rationales you promote in this post…very true

  11. Thank you so much for all these tips. I get bored to gym sometimes even I try different routines. But will take note of these as I guess these will be effective for me 🙂

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