I’ve been training for a fair few years now and I know that hands down, exercising over the Christmas period is the toughest.
Dark mornings, dark nights and the temptation of eating chocolates all night long. I’ve been there, done that and have worn the t-shirt. One of the reasons I opted for a home gym was because it slotted into my lifestyle and routine perfectly. Exercise is all about routine. Even Adam knows on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday I go in the gym (after putting him to bed of course!).
Exercise is also about realistic goals and targets. Don’t set yourself impossible deadlines either, like two weeks before a holiday. Health and fitness should be a constant part of your life. Don’t let it run your life though, make room for treats. One of my bug bearers is hearing people say things like “you shouldn’t be eating that, it’s bad for you.” When looking at your nutrition, think moderation. If you eat too much of anything, it’s bad for you. I use a common sense approach to my food. There’s a little bit of good in everything you eat so just think moderation.
That’s my introduction to health and fitness in a nutshell. Here are a few other tips I’d recommend when training over this festive period:
Ask Santa for training gear
If you ask Santa for a new training top or shoes, then this may give you some extra motivation to train over Christmas. I’d recommend somewhere like SportShoes for any running footwear. I actually used this tip last year and even though I was doing a running challenge, it made it easier.
Do plenty of walking
Even if you are on your way to the pub, try and walk to it. Every year, after our Christmas dinner we go for a little walk. It blows the cobwebs off and it makes you feel great. Exercise does make you feel better about yourself. So when you’re feeling bloated and tired, a little walk may go a long way.
Start the new year with a bang
A little bit of exercise between Christmas and New Year will guarantee to kick-start your new year. I’m not saying to not accept those ‘extra’ roast potatoes, I’m just saying accept them and then be conscious about your decision. My fitness journey is called Father Fitness. So from first-time Father to Fitness. It’s a journey of realistic approaches and everything I do is controlled. There are no short-cuts, no supplements, no workout fads. Just hard work and a common sense approach to nutrition.
Create a challenge
This may be easier said than done but something I’ve done over the past two years is create my own challenge. This is not only excellent motivation to train but it also gives you the opportunity to give something back. Last year I completed the ‘12 Days of Christmas.’ for Percy Hedley. This year I’m attempting (on Saturday) to run the ‘12 parkruns of Christmas.’ Myself and Lee will attempt to run 37 miles in one day for a local charity called Tiny Lives. I understand that planning and training for a challenge like this can be time consuming but why not set your own mini challenge? A 100 pushups a day challenge or a Santa’s run around the block challenge? It doesn’t matter how big it is, it’s just an idea to help keep yourself active over Christmas.
As I’ll be running 37 miles on Saturday, my plan is to put my feet up for a few days. Whatever you choose to do, I hope it’s health and fitness related. I hope you all have a fantastic break and I wish you all the best for the coming year.
Remember that health and fitness is for life, not just for Christmas.