Wed | May 12, 2021

Stay fit: A little exercise is better than none

Published:Wednesday | December 23, 2020 | 12:09 AM

Health and fitness is not generally found at the top of most persons to do list during the holidays, but it does not have to be this way. It is a time of celebration, and often excess, frequently resulting in firm New Year’s resolutions to get fit and lose weight. So, it’s not surprising that many people struggle to maintain a healthy focus in December.

However, following the tips below will ensure that when the festive season draws to a close, you do not have a mountain to climb to get back in shape.

MAINTAIN EXERCISE ROUTINES

One of the hardest things to do when your time is in short supply is to maintain an exercise routine. If you usually exercise a few times a week, the extra demands on your time can mean that something ‘has to give’ . However, reduced training does not mean that your fitness levels have to plummet. Research has shown that a couple of weeks of maintenance training can result in minimal or even no fitness losses.

COMMIT TO STAY FIT

Simply plan, inform and execute. Plan some shorter, and or less frequent exercise sessions. Explain to your friends and family the changes you are making, but also the importance of keeping your fitness going, and then put your plan into action.

A LITTLE EXERCISE IS BETTER THAN NOTHING

Accept that your workouts will be shorter but also realise that they can still provide training benefits. For example, If you usually enjoy several jogging or running sessions, cutting your training time by half will still keep you fit.

Instead of completing two or three sets of each resistance training exercise, reduce it to one or two sets. Your session will take less time but you are still exercising the same muscles, so your strength will not disappear.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

If your typical training week includes some more challenging sessions, it is important to maintain them. Instead of interspersing them with recovery workouts where you exercise lightly, focus on every session being high quality training. You can then omit the easier sessions, which will save time. A recovery session now becomes a rest day. The key to success with this strategy is to make sure you do not let up on the quality of each workout. That way you are keeping your fitness edge that you have worked hard to achieve.

TIME EFFICIENT EXERCISE STRATEGIES

In addition to focusing on maintenance training, you can also employ strategies within your workouts that save time. An additional benefit of some time-saving strategies is that the quality of your training session also improves.

Most people will struggle with limited time and tempting fare at this time of year but with a little planning, the festive season can be enjoyed and healthful. By training smartly and following a few sensible eating strategies, you can maintain your fitness, balance out your calories and arrive at the New Year in good shape.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com