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06 Dec, 2016

Take Your Running on Holiday

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December is here and thoughts turn to holidays and time away from the office, and this can be a challenging time to maintain fitness and stick to a training programme. So why not employ try a few of these training tips to keep those muscles going, and allow you to hit the ground running when the New Year starts. – BY SEAN FALCONER

We’re fairly confident the ‘Festive Season’ is unlikely ever to be renamed the ‘Fitness Season,’ because for many people it is all about working like crazy to meet end-of-year deadlines, then attending end-of-year functions, followed by taking time off from work, relaxing as much as possible, partying up a storm and eating like there’s no January! No wonder so many waistlines expand at this time of year… followed by the inevitable New Year’s resolutions to get back into shape.

However, it really is easy to turn things around with just a bit of exercise each day, which will help you relax, reduce stress, control your weight, and give you more energy. So, to stay active this Festive Season and avoid needing to make those hard to stick to fitness-based resolutions, try these quick but effective ways to sneak in short blasts of exercise to help you keep moving in the right direction.

1. Exercise early: With all the eating and drinking to come, a run, walk, ride, swim
or workout in the morning will set you up for the day in the right frame of mind – and prevent that heavy, drowsy feeling later in the day stopping you from training.
2. Get the family going: Take the family out for a walk or a ride to see the sights instead of driving around in a car, and when you go running, let the kids ride alongside on their bikes.
3. Walk the dog: Ensuring that Fido gets the exercise he needs also helps you get out the front door. It’s a win-win!
4. Get cross-training: Try new activities like body boarding, rollerblading, sea-kayaking, stand up paddling – all great holiday activities that will also give you a good workout. And throw in some laps of the pool when cooling off in between the tanning.
5. Explore: Use your runs or bike rides to explore new areas. Just make sure you know your way home again…
6. Join the locals: Many holiday towns have races or fun events over the festive season, so check out the calendar. Also, find out about running, cycling or swimming club runs in the area you are visiting and make some new training friends.
7. Turn errands into exercise: Walk to the grocery store instead of driving, and take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
8. Dance up a storm: Get on the dance floor and show everyone your best moves. Not only will you be burning kilojoules, but more dancing means less nibbling and drinking!
9. Walk it off: Enjoy the warm summer evenings and go for a walk after dinner. This helps to keep your metabolism high so you burn more kilojoules while you sleep.
10 Enjoy some me-time: It’s a time to be surrounded by family and friends, but when you feel the need to get away for some quiet time, nothing beats some solo exercise.

It may be the season to be merry, but it is also a season to take care of your body, mind and soul. Oh, and a final tip: Drink a glass of water before you start snacking or eat a meal. Not only will you be better hydrated and healthier overall, but you will be slightly fuller and thus unlikely to overindulge too much on all those kilojoules. Now go have some fun!

Sean Falconer

Sean Falconer

Editor |

Sean is Editor of Modern Athlete Magazine and is based in Stellenbosch. He manages the Maties Women's Soccer Team, runs himself and does regular race commentary on weekends. The Busy Body.