| Biogen SA | 5 Tips to Holiday-Proof Your Fitness Routine

The holidays are about relaxing, recharging and indulging, but there’s no reason why your fitness routine should suffer

With the right mindset and these 5 tips to holiday-proof your fitness routine, you can enjoy the season without sabotaging your well-being and hit the ground running come the New Year.

The key to success during the holidays is planning. Take some time to understand what options are available to you in the area where you’re holidaying.

If there is a gym, enquire about a short-term contract. If thats not possible, download a bodyweight training app or workout plan ahead of time. And take training aids like resistance bands, mini bands or ab wheels with you to make working out as convenient as possible.

It is also important to schedule your workouts in advance, just like any other important appointment, to get your daily training session done.

If you know you have a holiday outing, family gathering or a party in the evening, get your workout done in the morning.

And consider the busy holiday calendar and find the right balance between social gatherings, family time, holiday feasting and regular training sessions.

When time is scarce, opt for shorter yet intense micro workouts. Micro workouts are generally short bouts of activity or intense exercise performed periodically throughout the day rather than in a single session.

Holiday options include a morning power walk to the corner coffee shop or a purposeful sea swim to a few 10-minute interval sessions with 2-3 compound bodyweight exercises out in nature.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an excellent choice for holiday-proofing your fitness routine because they are time-efficient, burn calories and improve cardiovascular health in a short amount of time.

Find opportunities during your holiday for physical activity outside the gym every day. Your seaside getaway or retreat into nature offers the ideal opportunity to engage in activities that fill your lungs with fresh air and feed the soul with some fun and a healthy dose of adventure.

Try something fun and exciting, like stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, mountain biking, or play a few games on the beach. You can also take daily walks, hikes or runs to explore the surrounding area. It will help you burn off those extra holiday calories, and walking is a highly effective activity to improve your health.

If you’re visiting a new city, guided walking tours add another element to the experience with expert insights and the safety that a group and knowledgable guide provides. You can finish your active day with a light restorative yoga class as you watch the sunset to restore body and mind.

These activities contribute to your overall well-being and create lasting memories with friends and family.

While indulging in holiday feasts and treats is all part of the festive spirit, it’s essential to make mindful choices and maintain balance in your diet. Enjoy those holiday treats, but do so in moderation while focusing on overall nutrition.

Opt for smaller portions, choose healthier alternatives whenever possible, and fill up on healthful foods before going out to braais and parties. Incorporate a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables into your meals to ensure you’re getting essential nutrients.

It is also crucial to stay hydrated by drinking sufficient water throughout the day and including electrolytes if you spend a lot of time active outdoors over the holiday.

While an active holiday is great for your mind, body and fitness, it is also a time to recover so that you return feeling recharged and ready to tackle the year ahead.

Use the year-end break to maintain your fitness and physique rather than continue pushing your limits. Use the time to take your foot off the gas with less intense and lower volume exercise to promote active recovery.

Prioritise quality shuteye over the holiday by getting 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to rejuvenate mind and body. Taking a natural sleep aids to improve sleep quality can also offer benefits.

And include some downtime to disconnect from common tasks and everyday stress with device-free time and activities that distract your mind, like reading or word games.

By taking steps to actively reduce your stress in all its forms – physical, emotional, lifestyle and environmental – and giving your body time to recover, you will feel recharged and ready to train at full gas again come January.

Find the right balance

Your well-deserved holiday doesn’t have to derail your fitness goals. By planning ahead, incorporating efficient workouts, embracing physical activity, making smart nutrition choices, and ensuring your rest and recover properly, you can holiday-proof your fitness routine. Remember, the key is finding a balance that allows you to enjoy the festivities without compromising your fitness.