Everybody needs a break from exercise and the holiday period is the perfect time to get off the treadmill for a while and give your body a well-deserved rest. There is no set break time, you need to listen to both your mind and body for signs of exhaustion or over-training. A break from working out allows us to recover – and that is a crucial component to any fitness routine. In order to make progress with weight loss or muscle gain, recovery is not only vital to avoid the dreaded plateau period, but it also lets us appreciate how good we feel when we embrace a healthy lifestyle. Getting back into your training post-holiday is a daunting thought for many of us, so here are a few tips to help you get started!
Get back on schedule
Our life schedule tends to change during the holiday period. We go to bed later and sleep in during the day and this interferes with our sleeping and eating habits. Our body adapts to this schedule, making it difficult to get out of when the time comes to hit the gym. Plan ahead, commit to a start date, mark it on your calendar and get up early to begin your work out. You will feel infinitely better once it’s over.
Exercise your way
Don’t slog away for hours at the gym if it doesn’t make you happy. The most important thing for a healthy lifestyle is that it’s not a chore; it’s something you want to maintain. Of course, exercise is tough but you must feel good about it in the end. If you prefer outdoor group training to solo gym time or yoga to crossfit, don’t force yourself to do something you wouldn’t be willing to stick to in the long term. This way you will see results without waiting for them.
Working yourself to the point of exhaustion will not benefit you if you’ve been out of practice for a week or two. You’ll be left feeling sore, tired and unmotivated to keep going. Ease into your work out, start slow and pace yourself so that your body can get used to training again.
Removing alcohol from your diet is not too realistic for the majority, but limiting your alcohol intake during your training sessions can only improve results. Alcohol with all its calories is silently fattening, because unlike cake and biscuits you don’t feel quite as guilty after consuming it. Alcohol also affects your sleep which is crucial for good health, and depletes your body of water and other nutrients.
Distractions plague the mind and often lead us off track from our goals. Find out what distracts you, whether that’s the internet or video games and avoid engaging in those activities for a while. The best way to do that is to set your exercises for certain times of the day, write up a schedule that is realistic and takes into account other daily tasks and responsibilities.
Remember the commitment you made to yourself when you started. It is easy to get discouraged, but it’s important to not let that stop you from achieving what you set out to do.
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