Be Kind to Yourself This Christmas Athletes: by Renata Bucher
Christmas is a time to spend with family. Not only will your other half look forward to seeing a bit more of you, there will also be expectations for you to visit relatives. This may involve at least a small amount of traveling and in some cases a lot, like me traveling from Australia to Switzerland. This is incompatible with my desire to train. So here a few tips to stay fit, but not to over do it.
Aim for short workouts and get them done early in the morning. After 11 months of doing what you want it’s time to repay some of the goodwill loan.
Visiting friends and relatives in the festive season also increase the chances that you’ll consume alcohol. Consumed in excess this can reduce your immune system and your sleep patterns neither of which will benefit your attempts to recover from more training. Tip – limit yourself to a glass or two or be the designated driver.
Parties and social visits plus the fact that you probably don’t have to work the next day can also lead to an adjusted sleeping pattern. Tip – make sure that your sleep hours are not reduced. In fact, if you don’t have to work then this is a perfect opportunity to get in the afternoon power nap. Try it, not much longer than 30min and you feel like a new born.
One of the reasons that endurance athletes like to up the training volume at Christmas is to counter the extra food that’s on offer. Tip – just be a bit more reserved with your eating and drinking and two, accept that you may gain a kilo or two and then lose it slowly after the new year. Either way try not to let it override your ability to have fun.
In many places the training facilities are either shut or on limited opening. This is more likely to disrupt swimming and gym work so you may have to adjust your training. Tip – Find out what the exact opening hours are and plan ahead.
It is possible to balance the festive fun with training and staying healthy. You have to think ahead and be sensible but this will all be worth it if you get to January in good health and ready to hit the ground running with your 2016 training program.
What is yours?
Here in Switzerland I always use the option to try another sport and to enjoy the nature. Cross country skiing, snow shoe walking is my favorite over Christmas sport. The beauty of spending some time back home in Switzerland means I can enjoy other sports such as cross country skiing and snow shoe walking. If you can use this time to try something new, it helps recharge the batteries.
I hope you and your family have a very Happy Christmas and New Year.
Stay Healthy & Have fun