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We have all had a long and tough year and we are sure you are looking forward to your long awaited holiday break. When it comes to training over the break, some would ask ‘why should I stay active over the holidays, when I have worked so hard all year. Surely this is the time to just relax?’ Although this is a good question, there are so many reasons that this is not a great idea. During the holidays, there is food all around us. We have more time to have braai’s, parties and picnics. So taking in all these added calories can have an effect on our waist line. Maintaining an exercise routine during the holidays can be used as a tool to combat excessive weight gain from the short term overfeeding. Just 30 minutes a day can help keep the weight gain under control.

More time to train

While you are on holiday, and don’t have to time pressure to beat the traffic, be at work at a specific time, or have other commitments to get to. Your training time can be more flexible. You can also dedicate more time to your training, making it more enjoyable and stress free.

Stress release

Being on holiday can also be stressful. There can be conflict within families, house guests, financial strain and the stress of getting your Christmas shopping done. Exercise is a great way to combat all these factors and acts as a great stress reliever in these tough times. The release of endorphins after a good training session will leave you ready to deal with whatever is thrown at you.

Maintaining fitness

You have worked all year to build strength and cardiovascular fitness. The holiday season is not the time to throw it all away. A lack of exercise will result in a reduction of muscle mass and strength. You will also feel that after a few weeks your cardiovascular fitness will decrease. You will start to feel that those runs, or cycles will feel harder and you will feel heavy and lethargic. Maintaining your exercise routine during the festive season will make your normal training sessions much easier in the long run. Even doing shorter faster sessions during the holidays will help maintain your fitness, it doesn’t have to take forever.

Involve the family

Your family and friends are in the same position as you. They also have to combat the large meals and festivities that come with Christmas holidays. So why not involve them in as many activities as possible. There are some great things to do in groups that are fun and interactive. Activities such as walking in the park, visiting the Zoo, long walks on the beach or water skiing can be fun and energy expending. Your family will thank you for it in the long run.

So this festive season, resist the urge to be lazy and get moving. If you are tired later on in the day, you can always have a nap, you are on holiday after all.