How to stay fit during the festive season

Even the most disciplined athletes indulge in decadent snacks once in a while. We welcome treating your palate to new and joy-sparking flavours, but we know how easy going off track can be when you’re surrounded by celebrations and a change in routine.

The short answer to maintaining your health goal is to keep moving and to indulge in moderation but this becomes a lot easier when you’re consistently applying the following habits that promote self-discipline.

How to stay fit over the holidays:

Keep your goal in mind

The most successful people focus on their goals. For four-time Wimbledon champ, Venus Williams, achieving her goal is always more important than focusing on her opponent. “I don’t focus on what I’m up against, I focus on my goals and try to ignore the rest,” Venus says.

What is your fitness goal? Saying that you want to be stronger, fitter or more toned is great but being more specific about what you want to achieve will help you gain your desired results faster. Would you like to reach your ideal body weight, simply reduce extra weight over the holidays, maintain your gains, or beat your current running time? Remind yourself of your goals to avoid going overboard at the snack table while catching up with family and friends, or spending too much time on the couch.

Drink lots of water

Sometimes when we think that we are hungry, we are actually thirsty. Having a glass of water before and after meals is a great way to avoid overeating and helps your body remove waste. A study by the US National Library of Medicine found that increased water intake leads to loss of body weight. Water is calorie-free and is essential to the fat-burning process called lipolysis.

Diarise your workouts

Did you know that in the base of our brains, a group of nerves known as the Reticular Activating System (RAS) works to organise what’s most important to us? As we are constantly surrounded by data – millions of bits of information such as sound, scents, images and textures, our brains can’t process all the information at once, so it focuses on what’s important first. Whatever you communicate to your brain most, is what your RAS system can reach for first and deems important. Amazing? We think so too. This is why diarising workouts is essential. If you’re continually reminded of your fitness goal, your brain will work towards showing you proof. The same applies to negative self-talk; if you feed negative information to your brain, it will continue to show you proof of what you believe.

Shop in-store, not online

Shopping online is convenient, but it will hardly get you moving or working up a sweat from activities like carrying parcels, walking back to your car, or strolling from shop to shop to find the perfect gifts.

If you’re the kind of person who hates shopping due to long queues, set an alarm to be up early. There will be fewer people and you will be assisted quickly. Also, try to maintain good posture as you shop and choose to carry a basket instead of pushing a trolley wherever possible.

Prioritise catch-ups on-the-move

Connecting with others during the holidays doesn’t have to be limited to sitting down with wine and charcuterie or over a meal. Opt for a hike, a walk down the street or marathon preparation if that suits you. Having a partner to exercise with helps you stay motivated and reminds you that someone else can relate to your experience.

Stay on top of your training with 20-minute, full-body workouts at BODYTEC studios across South Africa. Book your next session here.

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