Hold On to Your Fab Bod During The Holidays
When the holiday season comes around, you will be tempted to make every day a cheat day. But you know that doing so will make your hard-earned fitness gains go away while gaining them back will be more challenging. Fortunately, you can still maintain your fitness gains while indulging yourself during the holidays.
#1 Go for Moderation
With the food and drinks overflowing, you will likely take one of two approaches – first, you can indulge yourself by eating everything in sight; and second, you can continue with your healthy diet. Both approaches aren’t effective during the holiday season.
If you indulge yourself, your body will show the added pounds from the excesses. If you stick to your strict diet, your mind and body will eventually rebel resulting in your frustration. In both instances, you will indulge in the food and drinks, let your body go, and suffer the consequences later on.
The best solution: Go for moderation. You can eat the sweet and savory treats but instead of filling your plate, just take a few pieces to satisfy your cravings. You can also apply this principle in your everyday life – satisfy your sweet tooth but limit it.
#2 Go for a Simpler Training Routine
With the roster of activities during your holidays, you will have a harder time sticking to your six-day-a-week workout schedule. You don’t want to miss out on the reunions and revelries with family and friends either.
The best solution: Just choose a simpler training routine so that a balance between exercising and partying can be achieved. If you continue with your six-day-a-week training program, you’re depriving yourself of once-a-year opportunities. If you stop with it, you’re likely to backslide into your old body within a few weeks.
According to studies, the body can quickly lose its fitness gains within two weeks of not exercising. Your cardiovascular endurance, for example, will be significantly reduced while your muscles can turn to flab.
Keep these tips in mind when simplifying your routine:
- Remove the extra set of exercises picked up on a whim.
- Reduce the intensity of the exercises.
- Decrease the number of hours or days spent at your gym, such as taking rest breaks on Wednesdays and weekends.
You can also shorten your cardiovascular workout program. You may also skip on the exercise equipment and use your bodyweight and/or resistance band, such as in the following program:
- Band-resisted push-up 3 sets, 10 reps and rest for 30 seconds
- Band row 3 sets, 10 reps and rest for 30 seconds
- Band front raise 3 sets, 10 reps and rest for 30 seconds
- Burpee 1 set for 1 minute and rest for 30 seconds (i.e., alternatively, use a jump rope)
- Band standing press 3 sets, 10 reps and rest for 30 seconds
- Bench dip 2 sets, 10 reps and rest for 30 seconds
- Standing band curl 3 sets, 10 reps and rest for 30 seconds
- Jumping squats 3 sets, 12 reps and rest for 30 seconds
- Sissy squats 2 sets, 10 reps and rest for 30 seconds
- Stair-step calf raise 2 sets, 25 reps and rest for 30 seconds
- Double crunch 2 sets, 25 reps and rest for 30 seconds
- Burpee 1 set for 1 minute and rest for 30 seconds
You will find that this program is easy to perform even in your busy schedule yet your body can still maintain its fitness gains.
#3 Pig Out And Work Out
Think about it: You can gain more body weight when you pig out and the holiday season is such a great time to pig out. You can combine the two so that you’re pigging out but with a purpose.
If your plan for the season is to increase your muscle mass and strength, then you can justify your indulgence in the food and drinks. Just be sure to combine your all-you-can-eat approach with intensive strength training workouts. You have to put the extra calories from your dietary excesses to good use.
For example, you can adopt the following traditional bodybuilding split. You will be able to provide each body part with maximum attention while decreasing your time in the gym and increasing your time in the revelries.
- Monday: Legs
- Tuesday: Chest
- Wednesday: Rest
- Thursday: Shoulders
- Friday: Back
- Saturday: Arms and abs
- Sunday: Rest
You don’t have to be hard on yourself during the holidays. You can take it easy, too, since your body will also appreciate the rest and relaxation, as well as the treats. You just have to strike a balance between spending time with your family and friends and spending time with your body, alone. You can always go back to the gym but the time spent with your family and friends during special occasions is priceless. You may not have the opportunity again next year so grab it this year.