8 Fire-Proof Ways that Will Get You Back in Shape After the Holidays:
I hope this holiday season was jam-packed with a ton of fun activities for you. From workplace Christmas parties to potlucks hosted by all kinds of friend groups and baking delicious sugar cookies for your family’s holiday dinner, it’s pretty much safe to say that you had a lot going on in the most recent years.
With a full schedule for the holidays, it’s no wonder you put your fitness routine on the back burner. In fact, it’s totally understandable. Taking a break from exercise might have been exactly what you needed to make it through the nonstop festivities you had going on in your calendar. But as fun as the holidays can be, they can also turn out to be a bit stressful.
This goes even more if working out doesn’t fit anymore into your schedule. Besides, avoiding exercise during the holidays will help you avoid workout burnout. Some people can attest to the fact that resting and taking a break from working out, even for a while, will help their bodies reset and become ready to work even harder in January.
And since the holidays are over, it’s now time to decide how to get back into your regular fitness routine. Well, it all depends on listening to your body and taking things as slowly as you can. Here are a couple of mindful tips that might help you achieve just that:
Practice breathwork and meditation.
Before you start exercising again, you should take stock of how you’re framing things. Don’t beat yourself up because you missed a couple of workouts at the end of the year. Instead, try to train your mind to remember that holidays are nothing but a resting period for you to energize and gather your strength.
But how do you do that? Well, breathwork and yoga are definitely two effective ways to mentally prepare, especially since you would focus on meditation and mindset. Moreover, a recent study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology discovered that practicing meditation on a regular basis might help you improve your motivation to pursue a goal.
So if you’re looking for a little push to get moving again after two beautiful weeks of relaxing, meditation is your ticket. Besides, another study discovered that two weeks of focusing on mindfulness training might have a positive impact on your focus and concentration, which are two things highly needed when it comes to getting back on track. Do you need a yoga mat? We recommend this one!
Whatever you do, don’t go all-out during your first workout. This might increase your risk of injury. You need to allow yourself to ease into things slowly. Sometimes, this means starting off less intense than you’d normally go.
You could try going for a 10- to 15-minute walk to start. Do something that won’t break your body and push it beyond its limit right off the bat. You really need to rebuild your strength, stamina, and endurance to help you slowly tap into the confidence and motivation needed to push further. And whatever you might think, trust me, you got this! I’m rooting for you.
Try a gentle yoga flow.
Naturally, one of the best workouts for most people is definitely yoga. A nice, gentle flow class will help you gradually rebuild the needed strength and confidence in your body and will also help loosen you up and work on functional mobility.
Other great low-impact workouts could help you ease back into movement. I’m talking about walking, Pilates, and even rowing. Low-impact workouts are perfect when you’re returning to the gym after a longer period of time because you can’t get hurt while doing them. The risk of injury is much lower, thanks to less pressure on your joints and a steady, slower pace.
Do something you really enjoy.
If you’re not big on yoga or Pilates, no biggie! One of the most efficient ways to ease back into movement is to pick something that brings you a lot of joy. This way, you can actually look forward to working out again.
You could even find that doing something you like is somehow therapeutic. The main idea isn’t just to work out. Whether you’re a fan of indoor cycling, dance cardio, or something else, your options are virtually endless.
Opt for shorter workouts.
Just start with a 20-minute workout three times a week, then slowly increase the duration from there. You can also break the workout apart if you feel like it and do 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night.
As it turns out, short bursts of physical activity can really have the strongest health benefits. There’s a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology that proves that interrupting 30 minutes of prolonged sitting with a short activity break (such as a two-minute walk or a set of squats) does a better job of stabilizing your blood sugar levels.
This can also prove to be efficient in decreasing your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Set small and achievable goals.
Well, as the saying goes, you have to walk before you can run. That goes even more if you haven’t worked out in a while. Before you graduate from college, you have four years of classes, then the final exams. What does this have to do with anything?
Well, hear me out: fitness is very similar to that. Before achieving a pullup, you have to start by amping up the weight on your lat pull-downs and curls. You could try setting a measurable, time-bound, and very specific goal to keep that steady motivation all year long.
Moreover, when you set smaller goals for yourself, it won’t be as difficult to accomplish them. It will also be more rewarding. If you have a large goal you’d like to accomplish, just try to break it up into small pieces. This way, you’ll know you can achieve anything.
Take time to stretch.
Stretching and warming up longer than you would normally do is very important. A very effective warm-up routine also involves starting with diaphragmatic breathing, then foam rolling, dynamic warm-up exercises, and a couple of minutes of light cardio.
Also, the best types of stretches you could do before a workout are dynamic stretches, which mainly involve releasing and engaging your muscles. It will create blood flow and help oxygen move through your body.
It will also increase your mobility. Bonus tip: the best cool-down routine includes static stretches, which require holding a specific position to create tension in the muscle. These can help bring your blood pressure down faster.
Hold yourself accountable.
Another easy way to stay on track as you ease your way back into movement is to bring a friend along for the ride. Talking to a friend or even a partner might motivate you. After all, having a friend who’s always there to encourage you will make it less likely for you to quit in the middle of a workout.
Some good-natured, friendly competition can truly go a long way. One study discovered that those who exercise with a group or someone else, especially someone they thought was better at it than them, ended up working out 200 percent harder and better.
If you found this article useful, I’m happy to let you know we have many more in store: 7 Shocking Medications That Make You Gain Weight