Recovering from the Festive Season
The holiday season is a great time to spend with family, friends and feast some of the most amazing foods. Now that this festive season has passed you may find yourself in a state where it’s hard to pick up your health and fitness routine again, especially after spending two to three weeks consuming cheat meals and not maintaining physical activity. Let me tell you- You are not alone, this is a thing for many people and these situations come up many times throughout the year, particularly this time of year. This is why the Motivate You Team is here to provide you with tips and strategies to get you through this and put you back on your health and fitness schedule.
Below you will find a set of steps which will help you get back on track for a healthy and happy 2016.
It is important to take time to think, what is it I want to achieve? For some of you, you may have gained weight over the festive season, so your goal is to lose weight. For some it may be that you did not gain lots of weight but you did lose lots of muscle mass which you want to regain.
It can also be little goals which lead to a larger goal for example, “I want to reduce my sugar Intake by half” or “I want to stop eating after 7pm from now on”. Your goals can also be exercise driven for instance, “I want to walk for an hour at least three times per week”
Whatever your Goal may be, make sure before commencing your fitness routine, you know exactly what it is you want to work towards.
Planning and managing your time
Set a routine so you can’t say Ï didn’t have enough time” and whatever come up that may destroy your routine for that week, at least you have a set plan which you can follow back on the next week.
An example plan is for someone who participates in “Motivate You Small Group Training”
Monday: Small Group Training
Tuesday: 40 min power walks
Wednesday: Small group Training
Thursday: 15 minute intense at home workout (equipment free)
Friday: Motivate You Small Group Training
For those who do not participate in the “Small Group Training Program” can create their own routine from scratch.
Monday: Boxing/boxing class
Tuesday: walk for 20 minutes on your work break
Thursday: Walk the dog
Saturday: bike riding
This is the difficult step. Once the program is all planned and looking good and youre two weeks in, things may come up here and the first thing to suffer as a result of this is your fitness schedule, which is fine because sometimes things come up which must take priority, e.g. increased work load due to promotion. In this case you may need to reform your schedule so it is better suited to you. However if it is a one off thing, you must ensure that is you slip you just pick up where you left off. Most the time when you are in a situation where you aren’t able to train for a week or so, you find yourself giving up on your program, this is where most people go wrong, because they assume they have to start again when you simply have to just kick off from where you left and work a little harder during your session to get you back to where you were before you stopped training.
Consistency is easier said than done so here are some tips to help keep you motivated
– Something is better than nothing, If you can’t train for a couple of days, take 10 minutes out of your day to do a quick circuit
– Add variety to your schedule so that you don’t get bored of your program e.g. swimming, cycling, dance class, boxing
– Increase incidental physical activity e.g. taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to work if you work close to home, walking the dog
– Find a friend to keep you motivated and to train with
I often speak to people about their goals, fitness aspirations and the ideal body they are hoping to achieve.
A question I always ask is “what are the most important things you are looking for in a personal trainer?” The results vary greatly but there are some common themes.
“Someone to push me” is a common one . Sometimes the person thinks they need to be pushed to their limits in order to achieve the outcome they want. They may have tried exercising , or been exercising for a reasonable time but they are confused because the results have not occured. Automatically, they think that they need to be trained harder as this what is needed to achieve their goal.
High intensity training needs to balanced and planned, followed by rest and recovery, and sound nutrition. Excessive training at these levels can also be dangerous. In reality, the person probably needs support and guidance to address;
On another level, whether conscious or not, sometimes people do not want to change the way the eat, follow nutitional guidance, nor address taking advice from another person. Sometimes there is often an interplay with accountability as well, so the person doesn’t want to show their food journal. The ego is in control here.
The result is that the person believes that traininig harder or being “pushed” will do the trick, when in reality it may be other factors that need to be addressed.
The whole picture needs to be examined, and following the program and advice of a fitness professional will help you achieve your goals in the shortest possible time.
Many articles magazines mention how “lack of sleep can make you fat” but there is a lack of understanding on the mechanisms behind this statement. It is to many individual’s understanding that if you sleep less and eat less, it does cause you to reduce weight, which is true, particularly if you are active during those hours you are awake. In terms of sleep deprivation and weight gain, how does this fall hand in hand?
Have you ever been up really late and find yourselves fighting against those late night cravings, which you can only resist for so long before you begin eating? This is due to a disruption of hormones which in turn can affect your appetite; hence it is very unlikely that you will eat less when you are sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation reduces leptin which is the anti-starvation hormone (anorexigenic hormone) that is secreted from the brain. The body also causes an increase in ghrelin which increases hunger.
Why does this have to happen at night, especially when we aren’t supposed to eat in large amounts at this time? This is because the body has the tendency to self-regulate. For instance, if you are not sleeping, then your body is awake and the body thinks that for this reason there is a greater need for energy, especially if you are fatigued and your body is forcing itself to stay awake. To fulfil the energy demands for the body, reduction and increase in ghrelin hormones are activated to increase appetite.
If you are feeling tired, pain, having trouble sleeping, or anxious stressed or depressed, muscle cramps or twitches, you may have a magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium is required by every organ in the body for;
Many of us do not get enough magnesium in our diets. Adults require about 300 to 400 milligrams a day.
Magnesium is very beneficial for;
Foods that are high in Magnesium inlude;
You can also use supplements in the form of tablets which are available in most supermarkets.
Whilst the gym provides its members with great equipment to facilitate the weight loss journey, most people find that it takes a while to see progress. Why is this?
First of all the being in a gym environment can be very boring, especially during individual exercise; where you spend 20 minutes on the treadmill and 20 minutes on the weight machines. Secondly most individuals attending the gym don’t really know what to do with the equipment or how to use the equipment in what is best suited for them.
It is one thing to know how to operate the machines but to use in in a way which is beneficial to you can be difficult at times.
Individuals who exercise at the gym or create their own programs realise that even after three or four weeks of results their fitness and weight loss gains begin to plateau and there is no progress being made. This is where High intensity training comes into play.
What is High intensity training?
High intensity training is a form of strength training and is characterised by brief and intense bouts of exercises which aim to place enough stress on the muscle to allow it to stimulate muscular strength or size. High intensity training is increased progressively as strength increases and its manipulated through either increasing resistance, increasing repetitions, time taken to complete the set and recovery time.
Example of a high intensity workout
Example of low intensity workout
The type of high intensity training is dependent on many factors including your fitness level, goals, time frames and any previous injuries. Injury prevention should be at the forefront of our thinking before undertaking this type of exercise due to its high risk of injury. Too much high intensity exercise without adequate recovery can be detrimental. A Personal Trainer will be able to guide and support you. Contact us about our 1-1 Personal training or Magnitude Fitness group which is a high intensity program