A few months into the New Year we begin to feel tired and worn down and a lot of us are exposed to very little natural sunlight during this time of the year. The holidays are finally over and the good weather is a long season away which makes it seem like a long dark overcast haul until the weather improves and the sun finally comes out. There is actually a disorder called seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which affects many of us with depression-like symptoms due to the lack of sunlight. Seasonal affective disorder can be only one addition to the depressions we feel from eating too much over the holidays, the guilt of not working out due to family get-togethers and other festive parties. Most people have a difficult time returning to a healthy routine of eating clean and being active.
It may seem like you are drowning in quicksand but the only way to avoid the depths of this abyss of depression is to change your mindset and get back on track with your exercise routine and diet plan. You might be dreading doing the same old workouts you’ve always done in the past. If this happens to you then it’s important to look into some new activities that are both fun and exciting. Maybe you’ve always been interested in trying out new workout programs like CrossFit or Tabata. Well, it’s time to start! Not only is mixing up your training great for your body but it’s also essential for your mind.
The sooner you get back into a regular workout routine, the sooner you can shed the extra weight you gained over the holidays along with any of the issues with your overall mood and well-being. Serotonin is a “feel good” hormone that is released and gives you a “high” after working out which makes you feel great. This is something that can keep you coming back regularly because who doesn’t want to feel amazing? It’s important to get your butt into the gym and feed off that first workout session!
It’s obvious that getting back on track with an exercise plan will help trim you up and remove those extra pounds you packed on over the holidays but it’s also important to stay motivated to keep your routine going for the long haul. Try out this “Holiday Fitness Recovery Plan” below which will help you move smoothly into the spring season with a lean and fit physique! Remember, energy does not come in a pill or liquid form. It comes from moving your body every day which naturally increases your energy levels!
Holiday Fitness Recovery Plan
- Start moving right away. Begin with a 20 minute daily walk and a 4-5 sets of a few basic strength training exercises like squats, lunges and shoulder press. There is no excuse to avoid doing this basic workout.
- Warm up your muscles with 10 pushups, 10 squats and 10 crunches every other day during the week. Do these exercises right after you wake up and get out of bed. You can also include them right after your walk.
- Try a new activity you have always wanted to do. Join a kickboxing class, Pilates or sign up for an obstacle course race like the Tough Mudder, Spartan Race or the Warrior Dash. The excitement from participating in something you have always wanted to try will get you motivated and off your butt!
- Trim your diet down and try to keep 80% of your food within the outer perimeter of the grocery store (meat, produce, eggs). Try choosing 50% vegetables with lots of greens and 30% fruit. Pick up some olives and healthy nuts for good fats and choose lean proteins like chicken breast, fish, turkey and egg whites.
- Keep the alcohol to a minimum and limit yourself to 1-2 glasses per day. Red wine has some great benefits like resveratrol which helps to reduce inflammation.
- Drink a liter of water per day and make it a goal for yourself! Bring a jug of water wherever you go and sip on it all day long. This helps to flush out bad toxins and keeps you optimally hydrated throughout the day.
This holiday fitness recovery plan consists of specific tasks to take on and if it’s too much to implement everything right off the bat, then just go at your own pace and try to add one of these items per week. I’m sure you will be feeling great by spring and ready to move ahead to new fitness and physique goals!