Surviving the Holidays
The holidays are nearly upon us, with which comes much relaxing, indulging and recuperating from the long year now behind us. We are all human - and right now is when some of our health and fitness goals get pushed aside (until those New Year's resolutions kick in!).
The TnG team has put together a short list of holiday survival tips that have worked for us over the years to allow us to enjoy the down-time but maintain some balance. We hope you find some of it useful too.
1 - Getting a workout doesn’t have to mean something from a set program. Holidays can make it difficult to stick with your usual gym routine, so be a little creative! Bind family time with an opportunity for exercise by getting active with the kids each day and PLAY! Rather than sitting back and watching them at the playground, I'm not shy to admit that I love to climb with them, push them on the swings or test my skills on the monkey bars. Have some fun too – you may be surprised how much you can still do! Going out for a bushwalk together in a new place, or dusting off the bikes for a coast ride and picnic are also lovely ways to spend some time with the family and get in some exercise.
2 - Over-indulgence is pretty commonplace during the holiday season, but there is an abundance of delicious fresh salads over the warm season to keep your diet light and nutritious. Salad doesn’t have to be boring either. There are so many great Christmas-inspired recipes out there, so take some time to seek out a few new favourites to keep your table interesting and inspiring. Play with different dressings and accompaniments and you will actually start looking forward to your next plate of greens!
1 - Be the designated driver. Not all Christmas parties have to be about massive hangovers and consequently missing training. Being the driver saves you the next-day regret of not being able to roll out of bed for that 12 days of Christmas WOD, or having to threaten the children for speaking with a tone louder than a whisper. There are some great low-alcohol beers or zero-alcohol beers on the market that let you enjoy the crisp taste of a cold refreshing stubby, without being the one dancing on the table with his shirt off at 2am.
2 - Get out in the sun. Even for a sun-weary ginger ninja like myself, getting out and doing a beach WOD is a great changeup from the sauna we usually train in, and utilises the beautiful beaches we have at our doorstep. Take a little bit of gear like a dumbbell or kettlebell to the beach, step out a distance for shuttle runs, throw in a swim and you’ve got yourself a good little workout. Don’t forget to slip slop slap, and those pop-up shade structures are great to relax in after the post-WOD swim.
1 - When it comes to food, prepare healthier choices and options for the whole family in advance. My kids eat me out of house and home during school holidays, but they tend to graze. Try making up a plate of veggie sticks, dip, cheese and cold meat to have on hand, ready to grab to satisfy hungry tummies in an instant. My house is also full of the glorious summer fruits and this always gets eaten greedily.
2 - Don't deprive yourself of food you love (I am a hot chip addict!). What I have learnt over the years is if I deprive myself, at some point I will cave and overindulge. This yo-yo approach with food never works out long-term and will likely just make you miserable. I am now a firm believer in ‘sometimes foods’ and when I do eat these treats, I take the time to enjoy them and avoid beating myself up.
1 - Being active is a mental health game as well as a fitness one. If I've spent three days sitting idol and sipping cold ones by the pool, I not only find that my motivation and my pant size are affected, but also that my mood will drop. To combat this, I try to set myself small goals to achieve daily. For example, on a recent holiday we were camped next to a lighthouse on top of an extremely steep hill, so I would jog to the top as often as possible and when time would allow hit up some air squats and push-ups. As they are small goals, there are no hard feelings of guilt or failure if you don't get them done, or (if you are extra motivated)you can double up if you know you have a hectic day coming up. Most importantly don't beat yourself up if you slip up once or twice.
2 - Another method for staying fit is to use the kids as motivation. Not only do they need to have fun and play time, but they need to be physical as well. Challenge them to a race or use them as a weighted object, who doesn't love using a six-year-old for a Fran workout? You could also take the kids with you when you exercise and find ways to get them involved. In the holidays, the pool is a favourite place of ours. We all play while Liz does some laps, then she chills with the kids while I do a swim WOD.