How To Stay In Shape This Christmas!
If you’re lucky, you’ll be bracing yourself for a few days off over the Christmas period, full of celebration and fun with your family and friends. The weather outside may be frightful but when you’re indoors and warm, you can guarantee that the weather outside probably won’t be on the top of your priorities list anyway; especially when there’s so much food and drink to consume! And that’s what we’re going to discuss today: how to keep your Christmas binge in check and what you need to do to stop yourself from losing your hard earned fitness!
Now, it’s not like your whole fitness regime will fall apart over the course of a few days but you can harm your progress – and it’s easily done – over the Christmas period. If you don’t keep half an eye on what you’re eating and drinking, you might find that a domino effect occurs: one more drink can lead to a nasty hangover that prevents you from embarking on your usual morning ride, a hangover that can only be cured by an incredibly unhealthy breakfast or worse: another drink! Which then leads to…the same thing again! Before you know it, you’ll be in no mood to saddle up until the Spring and that’ll really set you back.
Of course, that’s a worst-case-scenario but it’s still important to watch what you eat and drink and most of all, it’s important to keep on top of your routine. How do you do it? By reading the list below!
Easy On The Drinks
It goes without saying that the key to a healthy Christmas lies with your level of alcohol consumption! Alcohol isn’t particularly good for you but it’s Christmas, so if you fancy a drink, no one can really hold it against you! Getting sloshed isn’t going to help your cycling regime though and it will certainly make the idea of a ride feel like a chore the next day; you can combat this by drinking a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you consume. If you can flush the alcohol through your system, you’ll have a better time of it the next morning!
Don’t Lose Your Rhythm
Similarly, a hangover isn’t going to help you keep on track. Over the Christmas break, it’s a wise idea to keep on top of your regular cycling rhythm; if you cycle every day, don’t stop for the holidays! Maintain your rhythm as best as you can; while the free time might seem like a blessing, you can also run the risk of pushing too hard and burning yourself out. You don’t have to cycle with the same intensity either, take the time off to relax but make sure you keep pedalling!
And maintaining your rhythm requires you to be: flexible. So let’s set the scene: it’s the morning after the night before; you were clever with your drinking strategy but you’re still tired and it’s cold outside and the thought of a ride isn’t looking to appealing. What’s the solution? Well, there are many, providing that you’re willing to be flexible. Firstly, you could delay your ride until you’re wide awake and ready for the challenge – just because you usually ride a 7.00 am doesn’t mean that a ride at midday is going to kill you. Secondly, you could put in some miles on the exercise bike indoors – any exercise is good exercise! Secondly, you don’t have to cycle to stay in shape; in fact, some exercises are better done whilst stationary. Be flexible with your time and your goals and nothing will get in your way!
The Horror Of Snacking
Christmas is a time for good drinking, good eating and good living. The Christmas Day feast is unavoidable and at the end of the day, it’s well deserved so don’t feel guilty about indulging yourself; the main food related problem surrounding Christmas is this one: snacking. When visiting family and friends, the snack bowls are out; a handful of crisps here and few cheeky sweets there may not feel too damaging but…they are! Try and keep your distance from the snack bowls at all costs! Mindless grazing is unhealthy, so do your best to avoid it!
With your main eating issues covered there’s only one more thorn in your side: the danger of over-eating. Now, no one can ever hold a second helping of Christmas dinner against you but it’s really well worth taking the time to properly judge whether you’re ready for that second portion. Before piling up another plate, have a small break of around fifteen to twenty minutes and a glass of water too. If you’re still set on that second helping, go ahead. It’s more than likely that by that time your stomach has caught up with your brain you’ll think twice about that extra plate…
Don’t Starve Yourself!
Despite warnings about over-eating, it’s actually possible to starve yourself over Christmas whilst waiting for the big dinner. If you’re only eating a little whilst waiting for Christmas lunch, you’ll eventually end up over-eating at the dinner table. If you’re not eating properly then all of your cycling training will over the winter will have been for nothing and over-eating on the day will only make you feel awful! Eat properly, eat well and avoid snacking and you should have no problems over the festive season!
Don’t Fear The Cold!
Finally, the best way to stay to healthy this year is to beat the cold by dressing appropriately, exercising efficiently and eating properly. We’ve covered ‘dressing appropriately’ here but the rest is really up to you. Don’t let the cold get in the way of a good ride and don’t let those snacks tempt you away from your path to fitness!