Is it weird that one of the things I most look forward to when going on holidays, is returning from holidays?
As strange as that sounds… in the day’s leading up to the departure date I get a little giddy, not because I am about to jet set off to a previously unexplored country (ok yes that is really exciting) but because I feel an inward smile forming as I know that when I return, that ‘reset’ button will have been pressed. You know, the one that deletes any misdemeanor you have had earlier in the year and is replaced with a sense of new possibilities, where your newly formed motivation to take on the world kicks your (former) weary self in its lazy questioning ass.
It’s true, returning from holidays for me is just like the first day of a new year (possible hangover aside..). My mind is clear and my goals seem so much more achievable. Surely I am not the only one?!
It is importance to keep this feeling alive post holidays (and also to prevent the well documented ‘post holiday blues’). We have covered this point previously (http://fitnessinthecity.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/the-early-bird-really-does-get-the-worm/) but let’s take it a step further and explore something that not all Fitness In The City readers may admit to being in touch with… your inner self. And lets make this ‘inner’ you god dam friken healthy!!
Take a moment and think what you want to achieve? What changes do you need to make for this to happen? Only you know this. Then, lets reassess your health.
Step 1: Tighten up the diet. Yep, you have been on holidays so chances are so was your diet. Was there pancakes’ for breakfast instead of your usual omelets and green tea? I assume so, hey you were on holidays after all so I hope you enjoyed it!
Get back to basics with your eating. Ignore fad diets. Actually ignore anything that features the word ‘diet’ – I prefer ‘lifestyle changes’ – as fad diets have a 95% failure rate, it makes sense to approach your food choices in a practical yet holistic view that can actually be sustained long-term.
Look at reducing as much man made food as possible and increase anything and everything that is from nature – meat/protein options, salad, veges, fruit, seeds and nuts, good oils like avocado.. or think of it as staying away from anything that comes in silver foil! I would encourage you to look into the paleo style of eating.
Once your body is working in harmony by eating correctly, it is amazing how different you feel and function. What food you put into your body (and what you leave out) affects your hormonal response, in a nutshell.. your hormones are responsible for how you feel, how you handle stress, your energy – everything!! Once you have this step down packed, everything else will slowly fall into place.
Step 2: Consider a cleanse.
This doesn’t have to be with lots of potions and powders (although the structure of a good cleanse can be very helpful to get back on track). Simply eating as per above can do the trick – we need to alkalize the system, cut out alcohol, grains, sugar and coffee for 15 days + and you will feel amazing – those pesky few kg that crept on over the holidays will be gone – eating paleo style also has this benefit of fat loss (without loosing muscle) whether you like it or not!.
Step 3: Move that body, break into a sweat and get that heart rate up – it may have been awhile in between workouts but stick with it. After a week of eating clean (meaning no man made rubbish) you will have more energy to assist with exercise.
Everyone is time poor today so don’t waste yours with hour-long workouts. The key is short duration but high intensity. HIIT (high intensity interval training) is the fastest way to torch fat, build muscle fast, and get fit even faster! This training style shocks your system and body, and best of all you only need 15 – 20 minute a day. Be sure to include resistant/weight-bearing exercises.
Step 4: Do something you enjoy and often. Sounds lame and obvious, but once you get caught up in working again and stress takes over, this step often gets pushed to the sideline.
Step 5. Plan your next holiday…you have to have something to look forward to next!
Me? I am going to go pack and get ready for my yoga/trek in Nepal. Yes I am excited to go and you know I am excited to get back to that fresh slate!