Plan but don’t over plan
- Planning your workouts for the week ahead is a great idea. Not only can you prepare yourself for what is to come but you are far more likely to do the workout if it planned into your day. However, the problem around this time of year is people have more free time and so they over plan. There is no point planning a three-hour workout everyday and then only doing it once on December 1st.
- Ensure that you are realistic in your plans and cover all your bases from cardio to strength and even make some time to do some stretches
Keep days off in mind
- It’s the holidays and its supposed to be a time for you to relax. Therefore, it is not realistic to plan a workout every day. Keep in mind days that you won’t have time or won’t want to break into a sweat and put them into your schedule. Also make sure on these days you don’t sit around feeling guilty, enjoy your time off, spend it with family and friends doing something you love.
- This is one of the most important factors to consider. If there are massive fluctuations in workload in November, December and January, then injury can occur. For example, going from running 60km a week in November to 30km in December and then back up to 60km in the first week of January then this is likely to lead to an over use injury. The solution is either to try and maintain a very similar workout schedule with only small fluctuation during the holidays or if you can’t to this ensure that in January when you start back up, start slowly.
- While on holiday no one wants to spend hours and hours exercising. One of the solutions can be to do a High Intensity Interval Session. A typical HIIT session involves a period of high intensity exercise followed by a period of low intensity recovery exercise. This is then repeated between 5 and 10 times depending on the duration of the intervals.
- HIIT has just as many benefits as other forms of lower intensity exercise for long periods. These include, subcutaneous fat loss, enhanced insulin sensitivity and cardiorespiratory health benefits.
- A HIIT workout can be done in numerous ways with very little equipment and so is ideal for a holiday that has limited gym access. Here is a link to a quick and easy HIIT workout that requires no equipment and can be done anywhere.
Get a workout partner
- A good way to be held accountable and to stick to a program is to get a workout buddy. If you are going away ask those that are going with if anyone has similar exercise habits as you. Exercising with someone who has similar goals makes the session more enjoyable and helps hold you accountable.
- It is almost impossible to stick to the exact same program during the festive season. Certain exercise classes will close, some people go on trips and equipment can be limited, time also needs to be spent with family and friends. Therefore, you need to adjust your program adequately. Cross training can be a great way to stay fit, reduce the chance of injury and keep your training enjoyable. This is also a great way to concentrate on strengthening any areas of weakness. Strengthening certain areas and stretching others can most often be done without access to a gym. Here is an example of some important cross training exercises that runners can include in their holiday programs.