Times like Christmas or an extended holiday are great for our mental health and give us a chance to unwind, connect with others and relax.
However, as vital as these breaks are for us, they can sometimes impact our physical health.
These breaks in our routine can play havoc on our fitness regimes, especially if they are coupled with a holiday diet!
Getting back into shape after a break does require a bit of effort but by following our steps below, you will be you will back to your pre-holiday fitness in no time!
The first step is to re-establish a daily routine and the key to this is a sleep schedule.
When we are on a break, changes to our sleeping habits tend to occur with sleep-ins and afternoon naps becoming a pretty common (and well-deserved) part of our holiday.
This can throw our natural rhythms off and make it hard to muster up the energy to put on the activewear and get physical.
Proper sleep is also crucial for the recovery of our muscles and to ensure we have the energy we need to get through the day and our workouts.
You may have enjoyed a little too much alcohol over the holidays or just spent too much time enjoying the summer sun.
Getting back into the habit of hydrating is crucial as water helps your organs function efficiently and assists with flushing toxins from your body.
Getting back into shape after a break will be a lot harder if you are injured or can't make it through your workouts.
As you ramp up your activity it’s important to increase your intake so you can maintain your performance as well as protect yourself from over-exertion.
If you want to get fit fast after a break, having a plan of attack is important.
Creating a regular fitness routine to build into a habit will ensure you maintain focus on your goals and your fitness progress.
This could be something that you need external help with and that’s ok.
Having a exercise physiologist or a personal trainer in your corner to help you get started can be beneficial in the long run. They can help you avoid injury and provide advice to make your exercise programs more effective.
One of the best ways how to get motivated to work out is to have fun!
Whether you love kicking a ball around with a team or really enjoy a nice bush walk there are plenty of options out there for everybody.
You can check out your local council website for a range of budget-friendly or free activities including things like yoga group bike rides or Zumba.
If you are more into doing things at home, you could try these routines at exercise right which have a range of programs for those of all ages and if you don't have any equipment at home
Even if you are doing more solitary activities, it might be nice to try and get a friend to join.
Apart from you also having fun with your friends while you get fit you can keep each other accountable.
For those living with disability you can also find information on organisations that have active adaptive sport communities at Disability Sports Australia
While on holidays there may have been plenty of nights out or long lunches with family and friends.
You may have also indulged in many treats you don’t normally have or bigger portions of food than you are used to.
The good news is that getting back into a more manageable diet is just a matter of not continuing your holiday diet.
It’s about returning to the baseline you were at prior to your break instead of vastly revamping your diet.
You don’t want to make too many drastic changes in diet as you are more likely to give up and give in to bad habits. Progress takes patience!
If you are trying to fix up your diet and your fitness it might be better to focus on one at a time.
This advice might seem at odds as your diet and exercise go hand-in-hand with being physically healthy.
However, if you have had a long break and your diet and fitness are in poor shape, it may be too much of a shock for the body to handle both at the same time.
Building habits take time and your body will need to adjust so focus on the easy wins first to build that momentum.
Remember we need time to get away from the daily grind to reset and refresh. It’s ok to not exercise over Christmas or a holiday break.
Negative self-talk or thinking isn’t great for your mental health nor for you achieving your fitness goals.
Keeping positive and celebrating the milestones you make while accepting there will be setbacks is the key to succeeding in your fitness goals.
This article was written under the review of Matthew Pollack.
Matthew is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist registered with Exercise and Sport Science Australia.
Matthew has had 12 years’ experience providing physical health interventions to customers in employment, disability and private health industries.