If the thought of all those Christmas cookies you enjoyed is making you reluctant to get back on your grind for fear of not being where you were prior to the holiday season, then read on for some tips to get you back into your workout groove.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
The holidays should be enjoyed with family and friends. The season is a time to attend fun parties, shop for gifts for loved ones, festively decorate, and maybe even prepare to host close to 20 people in your home (which trust me is a total stress factor!). Don’t feel bad if running and working out take a backseat to these events that only come around once a year; it’s totally normal to step away from your usual routine for a while! Hopefully you made every moment count and enjoyed it to the fullest.
Start off easy
If you took some time off, do yourself a favor and ease yourself back into activity. Deconditioning occurs in as little as 6-7 days (sad, I know) so you might not be where you were pre-holidays, and that’s okay. Just realize this so that you don’t start off too fast and leave yourself open for an injury. Try taking this time and focus on technique or on correcting different strength or range of motion deficits you’ve noticed creeping in. Just commit to doing something (almost) every day like stretching, walking, or maintenance exercises.
Set a goal for yourself
There’s nothing I like more than a goal. I’m completely task oriented and I’ve been known to start writing a new “to do” list before I’ve even crossed off the last one. Having an end goal like completing your first half marathon or snagging a PR in a 5k can motivate you and help you stay on track; it can hold you accountable for your health and fitness. Running just because you feel like you have to can be extremely lack luster, but setting a new goal and achieving it can leave you with a sense of accomplishment, so check out some local spring races and sign up!
Venture out and try a different workout
If the same old thing has got you feeling stale, then break the mold and try something different! With the temperatures dipping below freezing, maybe now is the time to try a different form of exercise you’ve always wanted to try; think yoga, pilates, kickboxing, etc. Last year my brother gifted Chris and I a pass to a hot yoga studio in our area. Never doing hot yoga before, I was pumped to order a new yoga mat and throw on my most yoga-esque pair of leggings. I loved it! I couldn’t wait to go back. The excitement of doing something new can motivate you to get out there and get moving. Plus, it’s a great way to cross train. If you always stick to the same routine, you could be neglecting certain muscle groups, while overusing others.
So moral of the story is: the holidays are meant to be enjoyed! Don’t beat yourself up if your workout routine fell by the wayside or if you had a few too many servings of eggnog. It only comes around once a year, so if you don’t do it now, then when? Give yourself a pass and just get back on your horse….or treadmill, or yoga mat. Run happily and healthily into the new year, friends!