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How to stick to your exercise routine during the holiday season.
The holiday season is one of the most challenging times to stay motivated to be healthy and keep fit. Holidays have a high tendency to cause quite a bit of disruption to our everyday exercise routines and staying motivated to get into the gym can be a little more difficult.
So why is it so difficult to stay motivated on vacation?
Well, during the holiday season it is much easier to find excuses, the food is tastier, and it is a hectic time of year. Between work, family, planning, and parties finding time for a gym session can be next to impossible. With the wintry weather and delicious food, many of us are tempted to spend our free time lying by the fire on a full stomach and chilling out with loved ones instead of going to the gym for a sweat session. The problem is that even if we enjoyed it at that time, we would soon regret it when the holidays are over.
Below are nine tips to help you stick to your workout routine during holidays
1. Plan Ahead
During busy vacation weeks (especially those that involve travel), look ahead and plan when and where you can get some exercise. Find out where you will work out, if it would be at a relative’s home, outdoors or in a hotel gym. That way, you can prepare yourself for what workout gear may or may not be available to you (and what equipment you may need to pack) and start the week with realistic expectations and the comfort of having a plan.
2. Schedule plans for your workouts
Studies have shown that planning your workouts increases the probability of completing them. To ensure that you workout, mark it in your phonebook or calendar, alongside business meetings and family gatherings.
3.Get up and get to work
Whether you have an office party or just a million errands to run after work, there are plenty of holiday events and things to do that threaten to derail your afternoon or evening workouts. Stretching your body in the morning ensures exercise is ticked off your list before more demands of this busy season get in the way. It also helps set the tone for a productive, stress-free day.
4. Pre-Game (With a Sweat Session)
Before you start getting ready for that bad sweater party or family dinner, set aside 15 minutes for a quick high-intensity interval training (HIIT), you can do anywhere to get your heart rate and energy up. Pick five movements such as jump squats, jack squats, mountain climbers, and pushups and go through three rounds of them, working for 45 seconds and resting for 15 seconds. In addition to going to your festivities with that post-workout effect, you’ll also reap the benefits of a fast metabolism. Due to the high-intensity nature of HIIT, your body continues to work hard to recover for hours after you finish your workout.
5. Travel with your training equipment
When you’re about to hit the road during the holiday season, take some simple training tools with you so you can get a little exercise wherever your trip takes you. Try to travel as much as possible with two long resistance bands and three small ring bands of different resistances. With just these bands, you can do a full-body workout, even in a small hotel room.
6. Try a training app
Not sure what exercises to do when you’re in your grandmother’s basement or have more time than usual at the gym? Don’t let uncertainty get in your way. There are a whole lot of great exercise apps and training programs online that can give you an expert workout program at the tip of your finger. Many platforms offer plenty of equipment-free workouts, too, so you can squeeze in good training anytime, anywhere, without having to overthink. Of course, I recommend the Flesh Tamers Fitness app.
7. Keep it fast
On days when a 45- or 60-minute workout could seem impossible, do a short-time exercise where you can sweat quickly for 15-20 minutes. There are a whole lot of benefits you can reap from a focused 20-minute workout. Plus, it’ll keep you consistent so you can get back to your usual routine when the holiday is over.
8. Make moving(walking) a habit
Time spent with family on vacation often involves a lot of food and treats, and perhaps less exercise than usual. Get the whole family to do some training (formal or informal). If you don’t have a kid (or dog) to take for a walk, you can get the whole family moving by signing up for a charity walk or turkey trot or reindeer Trot.
9. Make a Playlist to Get Yourself into the Workout Mind-Set
If your scheduled workout time is making you weary, put on one of your favorite songs to help you shift gears and motivate you to exercise. Once your energy and motivation increase, get to it.
Most men know that they need to exercise to burn calories and maintain weight to look their best. However, the benefits are more than superficial: being in good physical shape helps men live longer, reduces the risk of some diseases, improves their quality of life, and can even help maintain testosterone levels as they grow in age.
Staying active throughout your life is the most powerful way to keep fit and live long enough to enjoy your body and all the things you’ve worked for all your life.
It is nothing new now that exercise makes the heart and lungs work efficiently. According to many studies, exercise can help prevent diabetes in adults, reduce the risk of certain cancers, and even improve bone health. Physical activity also appears to help relieve depression in some people.
Below are ten health benefits you can get even with moderate regular exercise.
1. Reduces inflammation
Inflammation is an integral part of the body’s immune response. The body tries to heal itself after an injury. It’s a defense against viruses and bacteria; and helps repair damaged tissues. However, too much inflammation can be detrimental. A moderate exercise session has a cellular response that can help suppress inflammation in the body.
2. Helps to lower triglycerides in the body.
Triglycerides are the principal components of body fat in humans and other vertebrates. They are also very much present in the blood and allow the bidirectional transfer of blood glucose from the liver and are an essential component of human skin. Yet, increased triglyceride levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Men who engage in moderate exercise have the lower triglyceride levels.
3. Lower risk of hypertension
As blood pressure rises, the risk of heart disease and stroke rises. Unfortunately, blood pressure levels generally increase as we age. Some health experts conducted several experiments on men within the age range of 18 to 30 years old. The study revealed that the more physically active the men on which this experiment was carried out, the lower the risk of them developing hypertension.
4. Lower Cholesterol
As we age, cholesterol levels begin to move in the wrong direction. Levels of bad cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), gradually increases. Levels of good cholesterol in our body, known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL), begins to decrease. Unfortunately, the combination of high LDL and low HDL is one of the main risk factors for heart disease. Excess cholesterol builds up on the inner lining of blood vessels, causing heart attack and atherosclerosis. One of the best ways to keep low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels low is to exercise regularly.
5. Healthy blood vessels
Blood vessels in the body should be flexible enough to widen and narrow. Smoking, cholesterol build-up, and ageing tend to stiffen blood vessels, increasing the risk of a heart attack. In-depth research shows that physical training helps maintain the ability of blood vessels to open and contract in response to changing physical demands.
6. Lower risk of diabetes
If you are insulin resistant, exercise will make your insulin more effective. That said, your insulin resistance decreases as you exercise, and your cells can use glucose more efficiently. Exercise helps people with type 2 diabetes to avoid long-term complications, particularly heart problems. One diabetes expert found that exercise and weight loss programs reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 58% over three years.
7. Protection Against Colon Cancer
Although colon cancer is highly preventable, there are still several important risk factors that people cannot control. Knowing the category you fall into can help you understand your risk and take steps to reduce it. Experts say that about 80% of cases of colon cancer could be prevented. A healthier diet (with more fiber and whole grains) is part of the recipe. But exercise is just as important as diet. Studies have shown that physical activity can reduce the risk of colon cancer by 30-40%.
8. Strong bones
Engaging in intense exercise can increase bone density, especially in the hips. Things like fast walking or jogging, and resistance exercises. Going uphill or downhill will have an even more significant impact on your bones, and this can further improve bone health.
9. Weight Loss
A lifetime of regular physical activity, even simple activities like a half-hour walk most days, can help keep your belly from bulging above your belt. Experts analyzed the habits of 10 men who lost more than 10% of their body weight and managed to maintain it for at least a year. It was discovered that eight out of 10 of them reported increasing their exercise regimen.
10. Longer Life
A recent study found that men in their 70s who exercise regularly and who participate in recreational activities (jogging, skiing, swimming, playing ball, or gardening) were up to 21% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease or die from the disease during the study period.
How Much Exercise Do You Need to Get These Health Benefits?
The answer to the amount of exercise you need depends on your fitness goal. Burning about 1,000 extra calories per week during activities is likely to extend your life. A half-hour walk most days of the week is all you need to reduce the risk of colon cancer and diabetes significantly. But the more physical activities you can incorporate into your daily life, the healthier you will be.
Anytime is the perfect time to start your journey to reach your fitness and health goals and take meaningful steps towards getting a well-structured body. A lot of men want to get rid of that body fat and reveal the cut body they’ve got hiding underneath. I know this because I’ve asked men about this: “if you could transform your body overnight, would you pump your shoulders, get a broad chest or opt for a serious six-pack?”
Many of them said they would like a well-structured body in general. Sometimes this goal may seem impossible. Nothing worth having is easy, but it can be simple.
Unfortunately, most people make the hunt for a six-pack a lot harder than it is by focusing too much on ab workouts, giving too little thought to proper nutrition and diet.
Here, I’ll be sharing some tips to attaining that desired body shape and create the V shape your spouse will find attractive.
Thirteen Tips to help you achieve a well-developed body structure.
1. Make your limited workout time more productive: (Do intervals and high-intensity workouts (HIIT))
If you are seeking a speedy way to burn body fat and lose a few pounds in the process, HIIT is a viable option. High-intensity interval training saves time but is higher on calorie expenditure than traditional cardio training. Your body will not only burn more calories during high-intensity workouts, but it will also continue to burn a lot of calories and fat in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout.
2. Weights and Cardio are Key
If you feel like lifting weights is the only thing you need to do, you’re wrong. You need a stable balance between weight training, cardio, and nutrition. The body will primarily burn carbohydrates during the first twenty minutes of cardiovascular exercise. In about twenty minutes, the body changes and begins to burn stored body fat as its primary source of energy. You need a combination of weight training and cardio to get rid of fat from your body. Have a good mix of cardio and weight training to start building that body structure that you desire.
3. Hit the gym (or don’t).
If you’re not hitting the gym yet and putting on weight, now is the time if your goal is to lose fat and build lean muscle. Have a personal trainer help you create a plan for body weight exercise at-home or a weight program at the gym! Even if you start gradually and work your way up to heavier weights later, gaining muscle mass will put you on the right track to achieving your goals. The larger your muscle mass, the larger the calorie-burning furnace is that you have as you live and breathe each day.
4. Engage in sports activities.
Venturing into sports is a wonderful way to burn excess calories, lose fat, and still have fun. Engaging in sports involves cardio and a lot of non-linear movements (jumping, backtracking, sidestepping), which makes it a more complete exercise than simply jogging. You use more muscles. Just make sure you are moving. Otherwise, it doesn’t count.
5. Reduce stress with meditation and prayer while stretching
Slowing down to take deep breaths and stretching can keep you focused and in tune with your body and with your Creator, as it can increase your flexibility and help you relax. Make your pre-workout and post-workout stretching and foam rolling time a combination win by praying at the same time.
6. Take photos and track progress.
Taking photos before, during, and after a weight-loss trip is a great way to stay motivated throughout your fitness training. But this should be a one-way trip. Don’t be on a weight loss yo-yo. Not only will you begin to see your effort yielding results, but it will remind you that you bathroom scale is a liar! When you are losing fat while gaining lean muscle, your scale may not move much. The win is in your body shape change and self-confidence! Let the scale be only one variable over time.
7. Train with a partner
Motivation plays a vital role in keeping fit. It is advisable to follow an exercise pattern with a partner or group even it is a virtual group. It makes your exercising schedule more fun and accountable, and you can follow it more easily. Just when you think you are weak, tired and can no longer run or do the last rep, you have your friend there to make sure you do.
8. Eliminate soda and alcoholic drinks
Drinking plenty of water will help your body avoid storing water due to deficiencies. Water is good for you and your active, healthy body. Alternatives like soda and alcohol are some of the worst things you can ingest when trying to lose fat fast. Sugary high-in-calorie drinks are one of the ways that weight can creep up on you without you even realizing it.
9. Learn to love vegetables.
Vegetables that are cruciferous are antiestrogenic, which means they fight the uptake of the estrogen hormone. Yes, men have some estrogen resulting in the accumulation of fat. Increasing your cruciferous vegetable intake can speedily help you lose a large amount of weight. They also contain fiber, which we know is good.
One of the best ways to block estrogen is by eating cruciferous vegetables. These vegetables have an elevated level of phytochemicals and work to block estrogen production. Cruciferous vegetables include: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy, kale, collard greens. turnips and a few more. (no not potatoes!)
10. Eat your meals and snacks on a schedule
When your body goes several hours without eating, it begins to assume that it will never eat again. It’ll start trying to store up. It’s smart to eat your meals and healthy snacks on a regimented schedule to reduce the chance of accumulating too much body fat and to reduce the feeling of hunger. Once your body gets on schedule, it will synchronize its hunger signals. Your body is the original machine learning system with built in alerting, teach it by being scheduled.
11. Cut down on carbohydrates andeat more protein and fat.
Eating only carbohydrates will lead to an increase in blood sugar. This rise in blood sugar causes an excessive release of insulin, which triggers a fat storage response from the body; In short, your body’s hunger mechanism and sugar cravings skyrocket. When carbohydrates are combined with protein and fat, glucose in the bloodstream is buffered by metabolites of the proteins and fats consumed. Now, I did not say cut out carbohydrates! What I am saying is go with low-glycemic carbs as your staple for fueling your active lifestyle. And add in more protein to help you feel full.
12. Walk more and drive less
The more you move on your feet, the more calories you tend to burn, and the more weight you can lose. Instead of driving down the street to get your morning coffee, take a nice quick walk back and forth. Your body will benefit from it. If you are working from home now, go walk around your house (either inside or outside) every 30 minutes.
13. Sleep more
Lack of sleep is a trigger for weight gain. When you are sleep deprived, your body reacts hormonally in diverse ways, which can prevent weight loss. During times of sleep deprivation, your body is on high alert thinking there is danger (otherwise you would sleep), so your metabolism slows down to save energy.
For more tips and fitness content, please follow my blog and/or my Instagram or Facebook page (Flesh Tamers Fitness).
Internal Conflict. A state of being with more meaning for a man of imperfect nature. Yet in battle with an external force of borrowed legitimacy.
And in this life-long fight, to be waged by every one of us single-handed against a host of foes, the last armament for a good fight, the last proof and test of our courage and manfulness, must be loyalty to truth.
This is the most rare and difficult of all human qualities.
For when the truth is spoken it has been wielded as a weapon of destruction. Tearing down kingdoms and strongholds built on false doctrine and desires of foolishness.
Loyalty to truth, perfected over a lifetime, asks increasingly more of us. It sets before us a standard of manliness always rising higher and higher. Though the nature of men is of decreasing courage in the face of opposition.
And this is the great lesson which we will learn from Christ’s life, the more earnestly and faithfully we study it.
“For this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, to bear witness to the truth.”
To bear this witness against declared and open enemies is comparatively easy; but, to bear it against those we love; against those whose judgment and opinions we respect, in defense or advancement of that which approves itself as true to our own inmost conscience, this is the last and abiding test of courage and of manliness.