One of the hardest things to do during the busy holiday season is to maintain an exercise routine. The best thing to do is not stop cold turkey but to shorten your exercise sessions. Research shows that a couple of weeks of maintenance training as oppose to full on workouts will result in little to no fitness losses.
Actually, performance can IMPROVE after a short period of reduced training because the body has the opportunity to rest and rebuild. Research shows a down period can result in renewed energy and passion for your workouts.
This holiday season, dont play catch up in the new year. Follow these tips for effective maintenance training:
Scheduling in time for your workouts is the best way to stay on track. If its scheduled you are less likely to skip it. Whether its 10 minutes as soon as you wake up, 20 minutes after work, or a yoga session to help relieve holiday stress ? do what feels right. Your family and friends will understand if you explain that you ARE shortening your workouts, but maintaining your health is still important to you; for yourself and them.
A Little is Better than Nothing
If you enjoy regular full length workouts here are some examples of shortening them:
- Lets say, you are a runner ? cut your run-time in half.
- Instead of doing the average two to three sets of resistance training, reduce it to one or two sets. Your still working the muscle so you wont lose strength.
- If you are doing The Human Trainer X50 Challenge try the shorter workouts.
An additional benefit of some time-saving strategies is that you are less likely to tire out and lose form in a shorter session.
Cardio: Try HIIT
Youre shortening your workouts or working out less often, so make it count. Push yourself to your limits in that quickie session. Try HIIT. Bursts of pushing yourself to your limit, interspersed with short breaks have been found to be more effective than long workouts anyway
Dont Skip Your Strength Workouts
You might be tempted to just do some cardio to burn those extra calories youve been partying on, but you can burn just as many calories with resistance training. Plus, you have to do strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked so hard to get.
Resistance Training – Complementary Exercises Instead of Recovery Time
A short recovery period of 30 seconds up to a few minutes is standard and essential in the average full-length strength training workout, but during the festive season, for a change, try doing complementary exercises during the recovery time to save time.
For example: alternating between the following muscles:
Chest and upper back .
Biceps and triceps.
Abdominals and lower back.
Quadriceps and hamstrings (front and back of legs).
Christmas is always a challenge to keep your calorie intake at normal levels but with a little smart thinking you can enjoy all the festivities and keep the calories in check. Simply try the three calorie saving ideas below to keep your weight under control this Christmas
By doing maintenance training and choosing food smart you can enjoy your holidays, and arrive at the New Year in good shape. And remember, exercise will help you have more energy to help you get through all the shopping, and family time