Let’s face it. Once or twice in our lifetimes (or more often than not), we’ve resolved to make our bodies better, and fitter. Especially after the holiday season.
Bingeing on a New Year’s Eve, or during Thanksgiving is one of life’s greatest pleasures, but the aftermath of excessive carbs, fats, and sugars make us regret that we’ve spent so much time indulging in food rather than sweating it out.
Shedding excess pounds will fill in the void of dissatisfaction we’re left with from post-holiday seasons. These are some of the best workout routines you can do after the holiday season.
Truly one of the best ways to burn excess fat is to do cardio exercises. Cardio is very effective in metabolizing blood sugar, and if the body runs out of sugar to fuel activities, it turns to stored fats for fuel consumption.
It’s also the fastest way to get rid of fat around the waist area. While different people may have different ways to store body fat, a quick jog or a short swim will help reduce overall lipids.
One thing to note however when doing cardio after holiday is to try to increase water intake. A higher blood volume contributes to better exercise performance, and it also helps get rid of toxins in the body.
Water also helps curb hunger, so when you’re on a post-holiday workout, you may find yourself craving for foods you’ve been eating during the holidays.
The holiday seasons are a time to relax. And it’s also the time when people stop moving around too much, resulting in decreased muscle mass, loss of flexibility, and a weaker cardiovascular system.
Doing yoga is a good alternative for individuals who aren’t into fitness, since it’s easier on the bones. Yoga helps increase flexibility, and gradually improves cardiovascular performance – it’s a light-enough type of exercise that will not send someone into shortness of breath.
Intense cardio exercises are useful for younger individuals and people who are heavily involved in sports. There are also adults who no longer have the physical ability to run fast or have joints that work properly that allow for other types of movements.
What they can do instead is to take walks in the park. The fresh air helps improve lung performance, and it’s a great way to ease into more intensive activities like running or lifting weights.
Brisk walking at least 30 minutes a day can burn about 200 calories. In a week, it’s equivalent to shedding the calories gained from two bowls of mashed potatoes and three slices of pizza.
Although not as calorie-burning as cardio exercises, weightlifting will help shed Thanksgiving-food coma-calories. Weightlifting builds strength through resistance, and new muscle fibers develop as a result of this resistance.
What muscle does for the body is consume calories. In fact, more muscles mean more calories can be burned, so your best bet to losing fat would be to build muscle.
Not an easy feat to achieve, but with some dedication and time, you’re well on your way to fitness. In addition to basically being in a constant metabolic state, it’s easier to lose fat all the time, and the amount of food you can eat can increase without ever worrying about weight gain.
A lot of fitness experts and physiologists recommend swimming over running as it has less impact on the joints. This is useful for people who may have gained too mmuch weight, or are morbidly obese.
Swimming engages the cardiopulmonary system (the heart and lungs), making it a sort of aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercises in general help burn fat faster because of the presence of oxygen.
Doing aerobic exercises in the form of swimming or water sports also mean less soreness after a workout, as the body doesn’t build up too much lactic acid from burning glucose.
Some specialized fitness routines for obese individuals actually involve the use of treadmills underwater, as the buoyancy of the body reduces the load on the knees, making it possible for obese and morbidly obese individuals to lose weight.
Other considerations for post- and pre-holiday fitness
Sometimes, the best way to avoid all these exercises, or to avoid weight gain, is to control the amount of food intake.
A thanksgiving dinner can be really enjoyable, but that doesn’t mean there are no healthy options. Unless your grandmother or mother or any of your relatives are cooking Gordon Ramsay-levels of turkey dinners, you can always choose to hold back from eating.
Watch out for foods with high sugar content as these have the most calories per gram. Fatty food also has high calorie-gram ratios.
Make sure you regulate your intake and focus on eating foods with lower caloric amounts instead. This means more protein, less fried food, more vegetables and salads, and less cakes.
Self-indulgence during Thanksgiving and on any other holiday is acceptable, but if it means ruining fitness, then it’s going to take a lot of time to shed extra pounds.
When getting back to fitness, it’s also important not to push yourself too hard. Progress taken step by step still counts.
Individuals reading this that may not have any background in fitness can find it daunting to do cardiac intensive exercises, or those that require increased oxygen uptake.
Make sure to consult your doctor prior to performing any type of fitness regimen, and check with a personal trainer what you can do as a beginner in fitness.