Although the festive season this year may be a little different than previous years, one thing that usually gets neglected around this time is looking after yourself. Most of us tend to put other's needs ahead of our own, especially when you have numerous family obligations, gifts to buy and friends who want to catch up for a few drinks before the year draws to a close.
It can seem impossible to stay on track with healthy eating and exercise goals during the holidays when you barely have enough time in the day to wrap the kid's Christmas presents. But instead of waiting for the inevitable New Year's resolutions, why not give yourself a head start and give your body and mind the ultimate gift by staying active throughout the silly season. Exercise boosts our energy levels and helps to reduce the stress and anxiety that often coincide with this time of year, so we have put together a few tips for you to help you stay active.
Recruit a training buddy
If you're struggling to get started or have hit a motivational wall, add a friend! Training buddies can be super helpful for accountability and can make your exercise session more enjoyable. If you can, pick someone with the same level of fitness or at least someone who has similar goals to you.
Schedule in your workouts
With Summer well and truly upon us, heat and humidity can be a very big barrier to exercise. Take the time to plan your day around your exercise so you are exercising in the early mornings or late afternoons to avoid the hottest part of the day. Remember to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide as recommended by the Cancer Council.
Jump in the pool
With the weather in mind, why not go for a swim or try an aqua aerobics session? If you are at the beach with your family, take the opportunity in the water to go for a longer swim or even snorkel. Swimming is a great cardiovascular workout with a very low risk of injury and thanks to its low impact, it is a great form of cross-training for runners and cyclists.
The gift that keeps on giving
Instead of receiving another scented candle that you don't need from Aunty Sue this year, why not ask for a gift that will motivate you to stay healthy? A fitness tracker, new activewear or a gym membership? You might even find an activity the whole family can be involved in.
If you don't usually exercise, start with small, easy sessions and build up slowly. It can be easy to push yourself too hard when you are super motivated and want to reach your goals quickly. Rome wasn't built in a day, and as Physiotherapists we see too many injuries from people going too hard too soon. Our team are happy to put together a specialised exercise program to help you reach your goals safely.
However you decide to spend the festive season, remember that the best thing you can do for those around you is be your best self. Getting a head start on the new year by setting up good exercise habits now will make 2021 your healthiest year yet!
If you need help with an exercise program or want to chat to one of our Physiotherapists about how you can introduce more healthy habits into your lifestyle, you can book an appointment online or call (02) 9436 2565.