The goal: Short and effective workout strategies that prioritise time with family and friends, not time on the stair master.
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A word we hear a lot and are always trying to achieve. That ‘nirvana’ of work-life balance. When it comes to the festive season the idea of maintaining our day-to-day routine is exhausting and hard.
But where does body movement fit in around the rush of December? We want the ability to sleep in without responsibilities and the time to reset and switch off. To spend time doing what we love, and for some - that’s still maintaining a level of exercise routine.
As a personal trainer, here is my advice: The idea isn’t to go extreme and spend hours in the gym lifting weights and hitting the cardio room. Instead, be time-efficient with workouts that are short and effective, to leave more time with family and friends and less time on the stair master.
Make the most of your workout, and I guarantee the time spent in the gym will make for more productive time spent with loved ones.
One of the easiest ways to stay consistent is to make yourself accountable. Get family or friends involved, maybe your accountability is through a tracker.
Set yourself a goal over the break of how many sessions/runs you would like to achieve and cross them off as you go, now you see your progress as you go.
Who doesn’t love to see themselves kicking goals!
Workouts don't need to be long in duration or even super high in intensity. The point is movement - whether it is stretching or skipping, or a mixture of moderate intensity resistance movements and a run.
Joe Holder, Nike Master Trainer and founder of Ocho System, created Exercise Snacks; just as the name suggests, bite-sized workouts anyone can fit into their day.
His idea was stemmed from a study he read where it suggested that smaller workouts were more effective in lowering blood sugar levels and keeping them lower.
When selecting exercises we want to think about what challenges us and demands more from our bodies. The more muscles that are engaged in a movement the more energy demand required (i.e. calories burned).
If you have the ability to add in plyometric movements such as burpees, jump squats and lunges. Plyometric movements are a great way to develop speed and strength, while improving anaerobic fitness.
The idea of short and time-efficient workouts is a great way to enjoy movement for what it is, movement. Without expectation of calories burned, how long the session went for, how much you lifted or how frequently you are training.
It’s an opportunity to move your body and celebrate it for what it can do.
If your gym reduces its hours during the holidays, a great alternative is the use of training apps - you can basically have a personal trainer in your pocket!
On most training apps you have the ability to either choose from pre-planned sessions that work with the time and equipment you have or you have the ability to program the style of workout (strength, yoga, HIIT) for what is available to you.
I especially love using these apps when I’m travelling for work or limited on time because all I have to do is press start. (You can find some brilliant movement videos here on youtime too. Scroll down to check them out.)
The biggest takeaway I think is to just do what feels right. If you’re in the mood to go for a slow easy jog, go for it. If you want to do some pilates, a dance class, or HIIT - do it and do it good!
This time of the year is the perfect opportunity to reset and restore after a crazy, jam-packed year. Be kind, enjoy the margarita (I know I will be!), eat the leftovers for breakfast, sleep in, do the workout or weep in the hangover.
Christmas is all about time and how you decide to spend it. It's youtime.
Stay hydrated, alcohol dehydrates the body and with the weather heating up it makes it even more important to prioritise your intake. Aim for 2-3 litres a day.
If you only have 20-30 minutes then make sure you choose exercises that challenge you and relate to your goal.
Prioritise sleep when possible. Throughout this time of the year we’re usually out longer, so make sure you can get as close to 8 hours as you can.
Walk to get the morning coffee, get off one tram stop earlier and walk to the office. Aim to hit 10,000 steps minimum to keep the body moving.
BE KIND! If you sleep through your alarm or simply don’t want to get up. Don’t beat yourself up about it! This time of year with all the extra social events added to the calendar can be exhausting, so make sure you’re prioritising your health and asking yourself what do I actually need right now.