Keeping Up with Your Fitness Goals Over Christmas - Foundry Personal Training Gyms

Keeping Up with Your Fitness Goals Over Christmas

The festive holidays bring a unique blend of excitement and challenges, especially for those dedicated to maintaining their fitness goals. This time of year, we enjoy good food, family gatherings, and a shift away from regular routines, making staying on track with fitness regimes challenging.

You can still enjoy yourself, eat delicious food, drink alcohol, participate in all the festive activities and keep your fitness goals on track. (As fitness coaches, we want these things as much as anyone else!) but it’s about being mindful and not overdoing it completely.


Christmas Fitness Challenges

Navigating the festive season without derailing your fitness progress involves understanding and overcoming a few key hurdles.

  • Indulgent Foods:

One of the biggest holiday challenges is the temptation of indulgent foods. From rich, hearty meals to an array of sweets and treats, the festive season tests our dietary discipline. While indulging and enjoying these seasonal delicacies is fine, the key is moderation. Overindulgence can lead to setbacks in fitness goals, affecting physical health, workout performance, and recovery.

  • Busy Schedules:

The holiday season often brings a packed calendar filled with shopping, social events, and family activities. This can lead to less time available for regular workout routines. The challenge lies in balancing these commitments while ensuring that fitness remains a priority. Missing a few workouts is understandable, but a prolonged break can result in losing the progress achieved over months of hard work.

  • Mental Aspect:

Staying motivated to keep fit during the festive season is as much a mental challenge as a physical. The relaxed atmosphere of the holidays, combined with a break from regular routines, can impact the mental drive needed to stick to fitness goals. Finding ways to stay motivated and disciplined is essential, even when the holiday spirit encourages relaxation and indulgence.


Goal Setting and Adaptation

With its unique rhythm and demands, Christmas calls for a strategic approach to fitness. Setting realistic goals and adapting your routine are critical steps in successfully navigating this period without compromising your fitness journey.

First and foremost, it’s important to set achievable fitness goals during the festive season. This isn’t the time for drastic weight loss ambitions or extreme fitness challenges. Instead, focus on maintaining your current fitness level. Goals such as staying active, maintaining muscle tone, or ensuring regular movement can be more practical and achievable. Setting realistic goals reduces the risk of disappointment and keeps motivation levels high.

Adapting Your Fitness Routine

  1. Recognise that your usual workout schedule may not be feasible during the holidays. Be flexible and open to adjusting your workout times.
  2. Time might be a constraint during the holidays, so switch to shorter, more intense workouts. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or circuit training can be effective in keeping your fitness levels up when you’re short on time.
  3. Embrace the holiday spirit by integrating physical activities into your celebrations. This could include family walks, ice skating, or even dancing at a Christmas party.
  4. With travel and family commitments, you might not always have access to a gym. Be prepared with a home workout plan. Bodyweight exercises, yoga, or online workout classes can be great alternatives to keep you active.

Remember, the aim during the festive season is not to make significant fitness gains but to maintain your current level of fitness. Setting realistic goals and being adaptable allows you to enjoy the holiday festivities while staying true to your fitness commitments.


Smarter Eating

With some planning and thoughtful strategies, it’s possible to enjoy the delicious offerings of Christmas without compromising your dietary goals.

  1. If you know there will be limited healthy options, eat a nutritious snack beforehand to curb hunger and reduce the temptation to overindulge.
  2. When faced with various dishes, choose healthier options first. Look for vegetables, lean proteins, and salads. Then, allow yourself to enjoy smaller portions of the more indulgent dishes.
  3. Eating mindfully helps you enjoy the food more and can prevent overeating. Pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues, and try not to eat beyond the point of feeling comfortably full.
  4. Opting for a smaller plate can naturally help control portion sizes, making it easier to consume less while still enjoying various festive foods.
  5. It’s easy to consume extra calories by snacking continuously, especially at parties or gatherings. Be aware of your grazing habits and limit snacking to set times.
  6. When possible, choose baked, grilled, or steamed dishes, as these cooking methods typically require less oil and fat than frying.
  7. Remember, the holiday season is about balance and enjoyment, which includes savouring the season’s flavours mindfully and healthily.


    Alcohol Consumption

    The most straightforward approach is moderation. Enjoy a drink or two, but be mindful of the quantity. Excessive alcohol intake can hinder your fitness progress and affect your health.

    Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it leads to increased water loss. To counter this, drink plenty of water alongside alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated.

    Opt for drinks that are lower in calories and sugar. A glass of wine or light beer is generally better than a sugary cocktail.

    Enjoying alcohol during the festive season doesn’t have to derail your fitness goals if consumed sensibly and in moderation. Being mindful of the impact of alcohol on your body will help you make better choices.


    Managing Stress

    From preparing for celebrations to balancing social commitments, stress can accumulate, impacting mental well-being and fitness goals.

    Take control of your holiday schedule by prioritising and planning. Decide what’s most important and say no to less critical commitments. A well-organized schedule can significantly reduce stress levels.

    Deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can effectively manage stress. Even a few minutes a day can significantly affect your overall stress levels.

    Regular physical activity is one of the best ways to manage stress. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. Maintaining your fitness routine can be a powerful tool in keeping holiday stress at bay.

    Ensure you’re getting enough sleep. Quality sleep is crucial for stress recovery and maintaining overall health.

    Remember, it’s about finding what works best for you and incorporating these strategies into your daily routine to enjoy a healthier, happier holiday season.


    Home Workouts

    Home workouts can be just as effective, and with the right exercises, you can keep up with your fitness goals even with a busy festive schedule.

    • Quick and Efficient

    HIIT from home is ideal for the holiday season as it can be done quickly and still deliver significant results.

    Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds of rest. Repeat the circuit 3-4 times.

    • Jumping Jacks
    • Squats
    • Push-ups
    • Mountain Climbers
    • Burpees
    • Bodyweight

    Use your body weight for a full-body workout. This circuit can be done anywhere, perfect for when you’re on the go.

    Complete each exercise for 45 seconds, rest for 15 seconds, and repeat for 3 rounds.

    • Lunges
    • Plank
    • Tricep Dips (using a chair or sofa)
    • Glute Bridges
    • Bicycle Crunches
    • Resistance Bands

    Resistance bands are great for strength training and can easily be packed if you’re travelling.

    Perform 12-15 reps of each exercise for 2-3 sets.

    • Band Pull-Aparts
    • Banded Squats
    • Standing Row with Band
    • Banded Glute Kickbacks
    • Quick Cardio

    Quick cardio workouts can be an excellent way to maintain cardiovascular fitness.

    Try jumping rope, brisk walking, or running up and down stairs for 10-20 minutes.

    Our mission is to help people live their best lives outside of the gym by providing the best possible standards of personal training in London. Merry Christmas !!


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