This post is also available in: French
It’s only natural to let your health and fitness routines slide over the Christmas season. 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. So, how do you go about getting back into fitness after a long break like the holiday season?
A festive break happens for many people
Even if you manage to keep up the fitness routine while juggling work and Christmas prep, you’ll have probably give yourself some time off over the holiday season to chill. 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 that, 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 get active again.
Getting back into fitness after a long break: 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 after Christmas in your own time.
Find something you love
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, for example, can be a great way back into exercise, especially if you’ve got an injury or medical condition. It’s a gentle activity as the water reduces any friction on your joints. Plus, swimming helps build strong lungs.
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.
Lifting weights can speed up your body’s metabolic rate, which means 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 when getting back into fitness
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.
Thus, a good way to start the habit is by having the correct gear. Slipping on under armour running shoes that are comfy is vital. A quality pair of shoes can help make the work-out feel more cozy, and less like a burden.
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.
A change of scenery makes getting back into fitness with a long break easier
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 to help keep fitness fun. 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 now.
Another idea is to 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, head to your backyard to find out the amazing benefits of gardening.
Yes, it’s important to get back into fitness after a long Christmas break. 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 after Christmas or another long break can help you lose weight, reduce stress, and sleep better. I can also combat the January blues. So, stop making excuses and start moving!