Karl Henry's tips for staying on your fitness track
Most of us will find an excuse not to train at some point - working too much; bad weather; I'll start on Monday. But December is the one month that seems to be the downfall for even the most motivated among us. With office bashes full of alcohol, catching up with old friends for dinner, and simple festive cheer in the air topped off with mice pies, it can be hard to stay on the straight and narrow.
For me this year seems to be busier than ever - I have more clients cancelling earlier than normal. On a personal level, it's actually when I get to train the most as my diary begins to quieten! With this in mind, I'm bringing you my top tips to help you survive the party season without sacrificing your health and fitness.
Water and wine go together
We all know that when you drink to excess, you become dehydrated. Always have a glass of water beside your glass of wine at the dinner table and alternate between the two - and never go out for drinks on an empty stomach. Always aim to get a good solid meal into you beforehand.
Start as you mean to go on
Your first meal the next morning after a night out is key. Start the morning healthy with some eggs or porridge and you are far more likely to keep it up for the rest of the day.
Set up a Whatsapp exercise group of friends
I use this with my own friends and find it really helps to keep me on track in terms of my training. Encourage each other and motivate each other to get moving.
Set yourself a Christmas exercise challenge with a special treat at the end
Aim to do a certain number of workout sessions or cover a certain distance. Then, place a treat at the end of the challenge, but only give yourself the reward if you achieve the target.
Pick your nights out
As opposed to going crazy every night, carefully consider the parties you really want to go to and decide on a select few. You will enjoy them all the more and it will make it far easier to keep your health and fitness routine on track.
One of the key areas of health is to measure some health indicator every single week. You should keep measuring over Christmas too so you don't get too much of a shock in the new year, and it will help you to reign in your food and drink intake too.
Register for a running or fitness event
There are so many exercise events all around Ireland over Christmas as well as the weekly Parkruns. Why not sign up for one? Take a look at runireland.com for a race calendar to choose from.
Get your training session done as early in the day as possible - the earlier you do it, the lower the chance of any excuses getting in your way.
Give the chocolates away
If you find yourself surrounded by boxes of chocolate at home, chances are you are going to end up eating them. So I'd advise giving the boxes away and just ensuring they're not in the house. Chocolate Mikados are my particular weakness!
Learn from this Christmas
If you went on some fad diet to lose weight in the run up to Christmas, you will be gaining a lot of weight. Why not learn from this? Fad diets don't work, so aim for a more hard-working and balanced approach in 2017.
Life is for living so make sure that you enjoy Christmas to the fullest, choose your nights out, eat as healthily as you can, and just do your very best.