Are you struggling to pull yourself out of holiday mode and into the present? You aren’t alone! It’s normal to find it difficult to get back into a routine after having time off over Christmas and New Year (not to mention all the long weekends). Even for those of us who are the most routine-dedicated, a longer-than-usual delay in returning to a health and fitness regime isn’t out of the ordinary at this time of the year.
As January turns into February (seemingly in the blink of an eye) and children go back to school and workers return to their 9 to 5, it’s time to get back into the swing of things!
Here are 5 great ways to beat the post-holiday blues and kickstart a healthy and active year!
1. Create a routine that you can stick to.
At the start of a year, we see an influx of posts on social media and online articles about resolutions that often prioritise weight loss above all else. While there is nothing wrong with this goal, it’s important to think about healthy long term solutions that will positively impact overall wellbeing. Start by making small changes to help shape a routine of healthy habits that you love.
2. Find yourself a workout buddy!
Ideally, someone at a similar fitness level and who has goals that align with your own. Having someone by your side is a great motivational tool that will help to keep you, and your buddy, on track through the power of accountability, reliability (and a little bit of healthy competition). Pursuing goals, celebrating milestones and overcoming challenges together will help you to implement a sustainable, effective fitness routine.
3. Choose types of exercise that you actually enjoy.
This seems obvious, but often the reason that people don’t enjoy exercise is simply that they haven’t found something that excites them. If you’re yet to find a form of exercise that you look forward to, don’t give up! Make finding that one thing that gets you moving a priority and build on it!
If you’ve been feeling unenthusiastic and have started to view working out as a chore, it might be time for a change. Don’t be afraid to integrate something new into your routine while sticking to activities that are guaranteed to make you feel good!
4. Track your results.
There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a goal turn into an achievement, so make sure you set some simple, reachable targets. It’s important to remember that not all results can or should be determined by a scale. Tracking your energy levels and sleep cycle can help to indicate whether you have a good thing going! Let your goals guide how to you track your progress. For example, your goal might be to improve your upper body strength, meaning you could take note of any increases in the weight or resistance you are using during your workouts. It’s important to celebrate your fitness wins, no matter how small or trivial they may seem, as every little change adds up to one big accomplishment.
5. Create a realistic, not restrictive, nutrition plan.
If there is one thing that sets us up for failure more than anything else, it’s a fad diet. When used in the context of the new year, it more often than not means a drastic change in eating habits that are totally unsustainable. Avoid unnecessary disappointment and create a “wholefood”/”soul food” balance. A good starting point is to aim for an 80% wholefood, 20% soul food ratio.
Wholefood: Protein sources such as lean meat such as chicken, pork, turkey, fish and legumes. Along with vegetables, fruit, whole grains and quality slow-release carbohydrates, dairy and good fats found in foods such as nuts and olive oil.
Soulfood: The delicious “sometimes” foods that you just can’t be without! Enjoying these every so often is nothing to punish yourself over, and in fact, helps to establish a positive relationship with food.
It’s important to look beyond quick fixes and find ways to implement healthy choices that support your lifestyle and overall wellbeing.
About the Author – Tasmyn Sutton
Tasmyn is a qualified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach currently undertaking a Bachelor of Nutrition, based on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Her passion lies with educating people on how to form healthy exercise and nutrition habits that will translate into a strong physical and mental wellbeing.
You can discover more about Tasmyn here.