Keep on moving

Keeping your festive season energy intake aligned with your standard intake is unrealistic for most people - it will almost inevitably go up a touch, which is nothing to worry about.

But maintaining energy expenditure is a real possibility, although it often requires you head into the festive season with a bit of a game plan.

Being adaptable is important - as your normal daily routine is out of sync, there will be less opportunity to gym sessions on the way to/from work and you might find your sleep patterns are slightly altered.

The first thing to look at is access to training facilities that allow you to continue your current regime.

If your gym membership provides interstate access, then you may well be able to keep up the same routine using the nearby facilities.

The popularity of 24-hour gyms that provide access to all of their facilities has made a big difference to the ability to keep training during the festive season.

It was only a few years ago that if you were away from home, you had no gym, and even if you were home it was mostly closed or operating with restricted access.

If you don’t have access to a gym to maintain your training regime, you can develop a plan to keep up your training without the gym.

This could involve doing bodyweight exercises in place of weights, or doing more running, swimming or riding, particularly if you find yourself with some places to explore.

Sometimes there can be a bit of crossover between physical activity and training, for example, swimming or golf.

Swimming for distance is a training because there is time/distance/intensity component that can be advanced, whereas swimming in the beach is not.

Likewise, golf is physical activity but it’s not a form of training - so I’d rather you walk 5km in the morning and take the cart for 18 holes instead of counting golf as training.

Besides the fact that you can manipulate the intensity of the walk/run, this keeps the habit of allocating time to exercise.

The duration of training might need to be altered and you probably won’t have access to all of the equipment you are used to, particularly if using gyms in smaller areas, but what’s really important is the allocation of time to training.

When you get back into your normal routine after the festive season, you will find exercise much easier to pick up if you never stopped.

Taking a break over summer can be dangerous - it’s easy to plan to rest over Christmas, but then comes New Year and another trip in early January, soon enough it’s Australia Day and you haven’t trained for a month.

I know, from personal experience, so try to prioritise training over the festive season!

Tom Fitzgerald