To say that 2020 has been a different sort of year is a massive understatement. Unprecedented upheaval in the shape of business disruptions, job losses, physical distancing, and lockdowns has had far reaching consequences. Everyone has been affected on some level, and some will be feeling the effects more than others.
You may have experienced strains on your own physical, mental and/or emotional health throughout the year. As the festive season draws closer, you could be facing any number of challenges and emotions. Maybe this time of year will look different to how it usually does, and some things will be out of your control. Be kind to yourself. Get professional advice if you need it, or seek support from friends and family.
The great news is that there are always super simple and often highly effective steps that you can take to feel better and fitter as we head into the New Year. You absolutely can, and should be able to indulge a bit and enjoy the festive season, without any feeling of guilt as you head into the New Year.
One of the best ways to keep things in balance and feel amazing as you head into the New Year is by staying active. It’s probable that you’re going to eat more over Christmas. Enjoy doing so. Don’t beat yourself up about it or miss out on the fun. Instead, consider these top tips for moving your body and staying healthy over the festive season.
Incidental exercise over the holiday period
Incidental exercise is the type of exercise you get outside of planned workout sessions. And it can add up to a lot. It includes things such as walking short distances instead of driving, and taking the stairs instead of the lift. Incidental exercise is about being active in general. Another example includes spending more time standing and walking, rather than sitting.
If you work in a desk-bound job, you might have to put a bit of forethought into your incidental exercise plan. Or maybe you usually include lot of it in your lifestyle, even with a ‘desk bound’ job but found that it diminished greatly when lockdown periods were imposed.
In either case, the festive season is a great time to boost your incidental exercise levels because it offers a break away from your usual routine. Walk up a few flights of stairs, play an active game with your kids, or get stuck into that deep cleaning job you’ve been meaning to do. The little endorphin boost will help you to feel better mentally, and offset some of those Christmas calories. Then think about how you can carry those incidental habits into the New Year.
You don’t need to wait until the New Year to make positive changes
You can make positive changes to your health and fitness whenever you are ready to do so, not just because it’s the beginning of a new calendar year. After work has wound down for the year you might find yourself with a little more space to think, and relax. This is a great time to make positive changes to your health and fitness and get your New Year off to a fantastic start. It doesn’t mean giving up festivities or fun! Conversely, a little bit of “out of the box” thinking can help kick start your New Year momentum so your new habits can flow seamlessly into the New Year when work begins again.
Some easy ideas for making positive changes over the festive season (without taking anything away!) include:
- Think about a less-healthy food choice that you eat regularly. Decide on a healthier “swap” and start implementing that swap over the festive season. For example, trade sugary breakfast cereal for overnight oats. Or stock up on raw nuts in your pantry to have on hand as a nourishing afternoon snack
- Drinking a large glass of water every morning when you first wake up, to help overcome any overnight dehydration and get your morning energy levels off to a good start
- Taking a short walk before breakfast or after dinner each evening. Or just choose to do so on certain days of the week. Go with what best fits in with your lifestyle.
Decide on one or two strategies that reflect your goals and where you’re at, and go for it! Grab our Easy Steps Guide to get you started.
Better health and fitness habits for 2021
No one knows what 2021 will bring, but optimal health and wellness will be front of mind for many. With any luck, we can take the lessons from 2020 and have a better plan in place for reaching our health and fitness goals in 2021.
Here are a couple of our top tips, based on the challenges and changes we’ve observed in the health and fitness industry this year:
- Be flexible and adaptable with your workouts. Have a plan in place that allows you to continue to exercise regularly in a changing world. The festive season is a great time to take a look at these five great workouts you can do in a small space in your living room. Why not try one of them while you’ve got a bit of free time, and decide whether it’ll make the cut for your New Year fitness plan!
- Have you felt a bit limited with your training options? Not sure whether you’re covering all the important components of fitness? Check out our equipment and training styles guide. You might find something that would be of value to your program as we head into 2021.
Physical distancing in 2020 has been driving many of the changes in the ways people are working out. Our at-home personal trainers are here to empower you to make the lifestyle changes that will help you kick your fitness goals. Reach out if you’re ready for a personalized approach to better fitness and health in 2021.