Christmas is over, but your belly and headache are still hanging around. Here’s some quick workouts to get back into action over the next 6-12 weeks.

Rest and mental wellbeing are always key to allow you to keep your stress hormones low. This allows you to more easily avoid stress eating or drinking. So, after the celebrations, build your training back up slowly. Next, diet trumps exercise for weight loss. As the famous saying goes, abs are made in the kitchen. But, let’s not put all our eggs in one basket. Exercise speeds up the weight loss process immeasurably, it’ll also get your internal system working better too, from blood circulation to gut health.

 

1. Diet

Baby steps. Don’t jump straight out your bed and into your running shoes. Take a day or two to refresh, rejuvenate and ready yourself for the coming weeks. Begin with your diet, start eating nutrient dense, whole foods and get your body and mind back in sync.

Post-holiday diet tips:

  • Lot’s of fruit and vegetables (choose a variety of colours).
  • Lean meat cuts and white fish, or beans, lentils and soy products for protein.
  • Oily fish such as salmon and tuna once a week, for their heart healthy fats.
  • Complex carbohydrate sources such as brown rice and quinoa for the win.

 

2. Let’s get physical

Start slow. Your body has taken a beating, with your liver likely on the front line. Try some calisthenics (body weight training), followed by a light jog around the block. How did that go? Well? Ok, now let’s get down to your post-holiday workout plan for the coming weeks.

A full body calisthenics routine is a great way to build strength without overloading your body with too much weight. We recommend a day on, day off routine, with active rest activity on your days off. Active rest includes walking, light swims, jogs or cycles. But, always have one full day of rest.

Example post-holiday workout:

Warming up is crucial. Jumping jacks, skipping, or jogging on the spot for 10 minutes will do the trick.

  • Squat for 30 seconds, rest for 10.
  • When squatting, keep your back straight and push through your heels.
  • Press ups for 30 seconds, rest for 10.
  • Keep your back straight and tense your abdominals and glutes (your buttocks).
  • Sit ups for 30 seconds, rest for 10.
  • Don’t rise high enough to bend your back, about 30 degrees is perfect.
  • Repeat this until failure (at least 3 times).

Each week increase the exercise times or increase the number of times you repeat the full circuit.

 

3. Cardio

Straight after your calisthenics, stick your running shoes on. While jogging is better than nothing, sprint training is far more effective time-wise and takes less of an impact on your knees. It is also one of the best exercises to burn fat and build muscle simultaneously. Just look at the Olympic sprinters.

Tips:

  • Make sure you are warmed up, wear correctly fitting running shoes and weather appropriate clothing.
  • Once warmed up, sprint for 5 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and repeat this 6-10 times.

Increase the seconds you are sprinting each week. Once you are sprinting for 20 seconds and resting for 20 seconds, increase the number of sprints you complete. If you are sprinting at full pace, more than 20 seconds is not realistic.

Sprinting isn’t confined to running. You can sprint in the pool, you can sprint on a rowing machine, on a bike, or on a bike machine. But, always take more care when running or biking outside, make sure you have a clear path and wear safety gear when cycling.

 

4. Weight training

If you have a gym membership, then the weights room is great way to get in shape. Of course, all the exercises mentioned so far can be done in the comfort of your own home. Good technique is key for exercise across the board, but weight training requires particular care due to the extra weight bearing on your joints and skeletal system.

Tips:

  • Build foundations, too heavy too quick will lead to injury
  • Correct form is the only way to lift, if you don’t know, ask
  • No pain no gain is a myth, you should not be in pain when lifting

If you are new to the weight room always get a member of staff to write you a programme, this is usually free.

Summer may seem far away, but before you know it beach body season will arrive, get ahead of the competition and get the ball rolling today.

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