Southern Cross University senior lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science Dr Chris Stevens gives expert advice on how to prioritise your exercise routine over the festive season.
With the holiday season growing nearer you might find yourself with a little bit of spare time (finally!). Now is a great time to prioritise your health and fitness and get into a routine with your exercise.
If you’re just starting out, have you considered doing exercise that’s fun? Exercise doesn’t have to be all gym and mirrors. If you find enjoyment in movement you’re more likely to keep doing it. You might be better off mountain biking, paddle boarding, or playing soccer or netball than running around a track. You’re never too old for these activities so why not give something new a try? If you’re unsure how to get started, contact your local sports club through their social media page and ask for advice; a lot of clubs provide free ‘come and try’ sessions. If you’re a bit more serious, reach out to a coach or an accredited exercise physiologist in your area for a scheduled training session. Sign a friend up too and take your dog if you can.
If you’re going to be travelling over the holidays it can be easy to fall out of your exercise routine. It can be helpful to exercise at the same time of day everyday no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Tell your family in advance about your exercise plans and get their support, and even better, get them involved too! There are a lot of exercises that you can do without any equipment – try searching ‘15-minute home workout’ in YouTube and follow a different routine every day. Keep exercise clothing in the car (and a towel) so you’re always ready to go.
Exercising in the summer when it’s hot can be another obstacle. Exercise in the morning or afternoon to beat the heat when you can. If the hot weather is unavoidable, reduce the duration and intensity of your exercise and take cold water to drink and pour on yourself. A run/walk on the beach gives you plenty of opportunity to cool off in the ocean whenever you’re getting too hot. Take a hat, sunscreen and wear light coloured, loose fitting clothing when exercising outdoors. If you’re exercising indoors, set up a fan in front of you to help your sweat evaporate and keep you cool.
Make yourself a priority this summer and find an exercise routine you love.
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