Hands up if you spent your holiday enjoying a few extra sleep-ins, some lazy beach time and some extra cheeky indulgences… With the accompaniment of loved ones and laughter, we have described the perfect, guilt-free recipe for relaxation and restoration, exactly what we need to recharge our batteries after a big year.
With the beginning of a new year, comes the excitement, hope and promise of achieving goals – some new, some you are still working on – and making this year your best year yet. Now that we have had a break, we must try take this new year excitement and turn it into something real by bouncing back into action as we start ticking off those goals.
As we return to our fitness regimes, it is important to remember not to do “too much too soon”. When returning to physical exercise after a holiday, my biggest recommendation would be to ease back in. Resist the urge to spend your first few weeks workouts aggressively trying to burn off those extra Christmas treats by pushing yourself harder than your body is ready for. Jumping straight back in to high impact or high intensity training after an extended break can place a huge amount of stress on the joints and muscles when they haven’t had the time to adapt. You want to make sure you can still walk the next day so you can get up and get moving all over again as you start cementing those good moving habits for 2018.
Start the new year by balancing your training with Pilates, Yoga or a walk in nature, Take the opportunity to reintroduce exercise in a way that stretches out your entire body, focuses on breathing and gently but deliberately awakens the muscles as if to remind them they are still alive and strong. Listen to your body and how it feels day by day to determine when you are ready to advance the intensity of your training.
Daily movement is as important to our health as brushing our teeth and the more we do it, the more likely we are to create a new daily habit that might just last a lifetime. Some might argue that cleaning our teeth only takes a few minutes at a time and that it isn’t as easy to find the time to exercise. Often this is true, but it doesn’t make it any less important. We need to let go of the idea that we can only exercise if we go to the gym for a one hour session. Some days it might just be turning the music up full-blast and dancing around the house like a crazy (but super awesome) human! Just move.
For some of us, the idea of introducing a health and fitness routine into our lives might be brand new, and one of our juiciest goals for the year: To start moving and eating in a way that best serves our physical and mental well being. If this is true to you, the rules are still the same. Be kind to yourself, gentle and encouraging. Take your time, slow and steady wins the race. Be patient. Be brave. You have already committed to a new adventure, now it’s time to face your challenges with spirit and with the strength that comes only from within.
My take on exercise is this: if we are going to commit to moving our bodies regularly, for the rest of our lives, it needs to be fun! Exercise needs to be varied, exciting, challenging, restorative and everything in between. Participate in the kinds of exercise that bring colour to your cheeks and happiness to your heart, the kind of exercise that makes you feel alive. This is a must if you are going to maintain a long term relationship with physical activity. Remember, it is not what you do over Christmas that matters the most, it is the way in which you choose to nourish and love your body the whole year round that has the most significant impact on your health and well being.
Fast, fun motivators:
- Try something new this year to keep it fresh, fun, challenging and to keep you on your toes (literally!). You will find most clubs and studios offer free trials. Take advantage until you find something perfect for you.
- Create a killer playlist. Fill it with songs that make you want to dance, run and sing out loud at the top of your lungs.
- Be sure to move your body as an expression of self-love rather than punishment.
- Never underestimate yourself. Set some big goals and once you have established why they are important, go get them!
- Do not compare yourself to anybody else. You showed up, you gave it everything, you are awesome. Comparison is the thief of joy – you just do you.
It is time to move. It is the time to live. It is the time to love our body and act accordingly. We’re coming for you 2020!
Personal Trainer – Pilates Instructor – Nutrition Coach