How to get back on track after Christmas

The Christmas period is, without a doubt, one of the hardest times of the year to stick to a fitness and healthy eating regime. With endless meals out, leftover buffets & enough celebration boxes to last you a lifetime, it’s incredibly easy to feel as though you’ve put on some extra weight. However, you can easily get yourself back on track with these key tips.

Do NOT feel guilty 

Sure, it can be slightly depressing looking at the thousands of empty chocolate wrappers but SO WHAT, it’s Christmas! The main thing which prevents people from getting back on track after the festive period is mind-set. Your mind is frantically trying to add up how many calories you’ve consumed over the three cheeseboards, but in reality, a few days eating a little more than usual isn’t going to make you put on an unfathomable amount of weight, just like going to the gym a few times doesn’t make the pounds instantly drop. It’s natural to lose some confidence and motivation when your routine is disrupted, but as soon as you finish your first session you’ll forget why you were even worried.

Take it slow

A crucial mistake is to absolutely smash your first session back in the gym. Ultimately leading to either a serious injury or severely aching muscles, further prolonging getting back to your regime. The best routine to undertake on your first day back is a light cardio session, this will activate the majority of your muscles, without running the risk of a pull or a sprain. Start with a short run or fast walk on the treadmill, around 15-20 minutes on a gradient of 3 or 4, followed by the cross trainer on a low intensity level for 10 minutes, and then cool down with the bike for another 10 minutes.

Plan new goals

A short period away from the gym is a great opportunity to plan new fitness goals. Take some down time to work out where you want to be in the next 3 months, 6 months and this time next year. Try incorporating this tip with a friend or family member by planning a run for charity, or choosing a goal weight for you both to reach by a certain month. This will keep you focused, improve your motivation and provide a lot more fun than working out alone.

Do a cleanse

Unfortunately, a lot of the typical food consumed over Christmas is high in carbs, fat and sugar, therefore a few days cleanse is a great way to re-fuel your body with nutrients and feel a lot better on the inside. There are various juice detoxes available online, but these can often contain harmful ingredients, so the safest way to cleanse is to simply use natural remedies. Start your day with three slices of lemon in hot water, this is a diuretic which aids the reduction of bloating and flushes out any unwanted toxins. Try to consume five portions of vegetables and five portions of fruit per day throughout your cleanse; making them into a soup or a smoothie is a great way to incorporate them all. Have a medium to large sized portion of natural yoghurt per day, it is filled with natural probiotics which help to re-balance the good and bad bacteria in the gut. Drink at least 3-4 litres of room temperature water per day; if the water is too cold this can cause the gut to bloat and produce abdominal pains. Finally, avoid any foods with sugar which isn’t naturally formed. Stay away from chocolate bars, cereals and sweets and, when the cravings kick in, try honey or frozen grapes instead.

Try something new

If you are among the large majority of people who despise the gym, then there are plenty of other ways to keep fit and beat the Christmas blues. Do some research around the area you live and plan some scenic running routes, try a group exercise class, go on regular fast- paced walks with a friend, opt to cycle to school/university/work instead of driving, join the local swimming baths or even buy a cross trainer or treadmill to use at home.

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