Holiday Tip: Focus on Maintenance Fitness
With Thanksgiving not too far behind us, but much of the holiday season still ahead I find getting ready for long flights to and from home, numerous holiday get-togethers with sweets galore, and hard found access to a fitting gym! However, this holiday season, much like those in the past, I have already set about planning to improve my physique and strength goals with just 4 strategies that I want to share with you guys today!
Going Above and Beyond Maintenance Fitness:
To me priority number one during the holidays has always been spending time with loved ones. Whether this is family, my girlfriend, close friends, or all the above, I believe that the holidays are the one true time of the year when we all have time to be together. With this in mind, priority number two for me is always fitness, but who is to say one and two must be separate?
Within my inner circle of friends and family there are plenty of occasions where I find myself working out with a partner. Whether it’s my sisters, my girlfriend, or my cousin I usually have someone there with me. This can be a huge asset for you because it gives you another opportunity to share the fun of fitness with others, and to have another person in your corner keeping you accountable with your fitness goals.
2) Making the holiday foods work for you, not against you!
Now strategies two and three can be carefully linked, so let’s give it some close attention. During holiday get-togethers, I usually try to follow 3 simple rules: workout before the event, stay hydrated, and keep moderation in mind!
By working out before your holiday get-together, or more specifically before your holiday meal we can cause a demand for your body to use the additional calories for gaining lean muscle, rather than to be shuttled off as fat stores. I think it would be safe to say that most of us would prefer this, except for my sumo wrestlers out there bulking for competition. So, give your body a reason to use these calories for building lean muscle mass by getting a quick and efficient workout done and stay moving throughout the day!
Next, is to stay hydrated! Ok so I know we have all heard this probably time and time again. In fact, it’s probably the most commonly given advice among health professionals since forever, but why is this so important. Well staying away from the molecular aspects of water distribution throughout the body, let’s focus on the big picture items. The main for our focus today is that water can help promote the feelings of satiety, or of being full. So, clearly if we already feel full were less likely to continue to eat excessive amounts of food. It will also help to keep your digestive tract healthy, especially if we add in the idea of eating our veggies and high fiber snacks!
Moderation may be the hardest out of these strategies, but keep it simple. I usually try to limit myself to one plate of a little bit of whatever catches my eye during holiday meals. If you have a craving for something, have it! But not all of it! Take little bits of what you wish and remember moderation is key! so while it may be holiday season, not every day can be a cheat day no matter, how often you write to Santa wishing that it would be!
3) Maximizing your workout’s efficiency!
Workout efficiency is the key to holiday success! If you can maximize the energy burned off in the gym during the limited amount of time that you may have to be there you will be enabling your body to take in the more calories than it would be able to without exercise.
To maximize your workout’s efficiency, it is important to maintain workouts that are designed for your goals. This should in most cases, consist of the big exercises (Squats, Deadlifts Bench Press, etc.) surrounded by a few of our secondary exercises. When selecting the workouts, it is then critical to maintain intensity by targeting your reps and weight to give you the most bang for your buck. Along with content, it is important to maintain appropriate rest intervals, which for goals such as weight loss or trying to put on lean muscle, should be a minute or less.
The next question is whether you need to have weights or if body weight circuits are enough? For the holidays, it can be hard to have access to a gym, but not impossible. Personally, I always do a little research to see if my hotels have an adequate gym to use, and if not I consider getting free trial passes to gyms near me. At the minimum most gym, will also offer a day pass for around $10 a day. If gym access is even more restricted to you, then bodyweight circuits can be an option, but the principles above regarding content, intensity, and rest should still be considered.
4) Enjoy the season!
Make sure to have fun! The holidays can usually add stress to many people, but they don’t have to! Keep your head about you and know that things will not always go as planned and be able to adjust. Do what you can to move with life, and you will find that it will ease some of the load that is weighing on you. When you think that your starting to get stressed take a minute to workout and turn that stress into some fat burning energy!
I hope these tips are helpful to your holiday preparations! If you have not yet started with your own personally customized program including training plans and meal plans message me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get started on accomplishing the goals of your dreams today!! Best Wishes!!