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Getting back on track after the festive season

It’s that time of the year when you admit to yourself that you haven’t exactly been following your usual eating patterns or exercising as much as you had hoped to over the festive period.

But you’re human, and we are all bound to fall off the proverbial wagon every once in a while, but it’s how we get back on that actually counts. Trying to regain focus and structure in your life after weeks of “freedom” can be tricky, especially as the usual pressures relating to work and family mount up. That said, there are a few things you can do which will make it easier to kick-start a new fitness regime and stick to it throughout the year.

Be realistic:

The first step is to be realistic. Committing to climb Mount Everest when you’ve barely moved off the couch in the last few years is not realistic.

It may well be that you’re only capable of very light exercise to begin with or you may be relatively fit and would like to train towards a marathon.

If you have any doubts or need guidance, speak to a fitness and/or nutrition expert or simply ask for some advice at your local gym. Of course if you have any medical concerns, speak to your doctor first before attempting any kind of exercise.

trainning shoes, apple, dumbbells

Plan ahead:

As is the case with most things in life, it’s a good idea to have a fitness plan in place. Identify a certain time each day when it is most likely that you will be able to work out. Depending on your work/ family schedule, this could be early in the morning, after you’ve picked up your kids from school or at night. Once you’ve pinpointed a likely time, make a plan and stick to exercising at that time at least three days a week. That way, it becomes a habit and should feel less like a chore.

Enjoy what you do:

The best type of exercise is one you enjoy. If the thought of exercising at a traditional gym puts you off, consider trying another activity. For instance, if you’ve always wanted to try dance classes, now is the time. Fancy a game of tennis? Sign up with a local amateur tennis league.

Examples of other fun activities include mountain climbing, running, walking, cycling, golf and swimming to name but a few. The important thing is that it gets you moving and keeps you coming back for more. Keep in mind that whenever you start a new exercise or activity you should start with the basics first and not overdo things.

If you hurt yourself the first time round, chances are you won’t come back. Start slowly and build up a foundation which you can build on as you progress. a week. That way, it becomes a habit and should feel less like a chore.

lady at massage parlour

Track your progress:

Generally speaking, people like to see themselves progress. There are numerous fitness gadgets on the market which can be used to this end. These range in price and functionality and can be used in conjunction with various other devices.

Of course, tracking your fitness doesn’t have to entail spending any money at all.

You can keep a diary of your workouts and simply weigh yourself on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Remember to make a note of each success or milestone however small it may be.

Reward yourself:

As you progress and start seeing results, take the time to reward yourself. This is the chance to buy those pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing, go for that pampering massage or simply go to the movies with a friend. Whatever it is, be sure that you take the time to reward yourself for achieving your milestones – however small.

Lastly, if you do fall off the fitness wagon, don’t beat yourself up too much about it. Just acknowledge what’s happened, start again and do the best you can.

Content provided by Naazneen Khan, Nutrition, Health and Wellness Manager at Nestlé South Africa
Click here to view her bio

Join the conversation by sharing a photo or how you experienced a Wellness Moment on @NestleSA with the #WelnesWednesday.