It's that time of the year when you hear a lot of people saying 'gee I've put on a few pounds over the last month'. With Christmas and New Years already past and Australia Day quickly approaching, I'd be surprised if you didn't hear a similar phrase from a friend before January's end.
So what are the best ways to shed those festive kilos? Here is my four pronged list on how to get back in shape.
Get your diet back in order
It's easy to let go for a few weeks during the Christmas period, especially with the mountains of mouth watering food prepared. An easy way to get back into a healthy rhythm is by making smart choices in your daily diet. Forget those shakes, tablets and what not. Rather, start hitting fruit and veg. You can never really have enough of it either, so try and get as much of it in your regular diet.
For example, whenever you're peckish around the house just munch on some grapes. Why? They have fibre, protein, zinc and multiple vitamins, lower the risk of cancer and are also primarily made of water. Fish is also something many people don't get enough of. The omega-3 in the fatty acids of fish lowers your chances of heart disease and fish also is digested quickly. So it wont sit in your stomach as long as a steak would.
This is obviously a no-brainer, but it's worth considering what type of exercise you do. You might think gyms are the best choice to work away the extra fat, and it might be for some. But the most cost effective and simple way to do so is to start some road or grass runs. Start on a pace that suits yourself, maybe even a walk or slow jog, and do it consistently. Twice a week is ideal if time permits.
Running frequently lowers your blood pressure and builds your arteries, ensuring you're less likely to contract diseases in general. The biggest tip I can give you when it comes to exercising regularly is to try and at least start doing it with a few friends. Not only will you have company with you, but you can spur each other on to keep going when those thighs start to get a bit heavy. That way you can look forward to exercising to some degree and have some fun whilst doing it.
When you start getting into a routine, it can often become easy to get overconfident. Listen to your body and don't push yourself beyond your limits, this is when injuries are most common. The worst thing is that when you sustain an injury, not only do you lose a lot of the work you've already done, but it's even harder to get back into a routine of exercise. It's important to stretch your body before and also after any exercise, so make sure you don't cop out.
Also, after a long run or workout that drains your legs or arms, try and catch a cold or alternate (30 seconds cold, 30 seconds hot) shower. By continuously constricting and dilating blood vessels, waste products are removed from your tissue and makes your body feel less tense. If you have compression skins or tights, wear them for a few hours after exercising and even to bed if it was a long session.
Sleep is something that is crucial to ensuring all the hard work you've done/about to do doesn't go to waste. There is no point doing a seven kilometre run then only getting four of five hours sleep or vice versa. Always try to give yourself a minimum of eight hours sleep before and after training or exercising.