Training | POSTED December 26, 2023

How We Keep Healthy During Holidays

Holidays are hectic. Disruptions to our regular routines as work winds down and social events pick up are the norm. Moreover, travel plans or long stretches in the car make it harder to prioritise healthy habits. Exercise is unfortunately one of the first things that people usually discard to make room for everything else going on. We’d love to say that there’s a one-size fits all trick but, we’d be lying. Holiday plans are rarely one-size fits all, but some basic principles hold true for all.

Today we’re going to share how each of the Ivy Team will train these holidays. Hopefully they’ll have some strategies that might work with whatever you’re getting up to this festive season!

Rachael: Flex your freedom over the holidays

As many of you might know, I am currently 34 weeks pregnant. I’ll be well into the second half of my third trimester over the Christmas and New Year break. Christmas is my favourite time of year, and I definitely prioritise spending time with family and friends over everything else. You definitely won’t catch me training on Christmas Day! However, I don’t go completely off track over the holidays. Instead, with a flexible schedule, I become more flexible with my training. Particularly with training on different days or at different times so I can squeeze in the increase in social (or Netflix) commitments.

I am currently training three times per week and will continue that schedule over the holidays. My training sessions take approximately an hour, ideally done in the morning after breakfast. This leaves the rest of the afternoon to either rest or socialise. I love training alongside my husband or a friend, so the benefit of training throughout the Christmas and New Year period is that I can usually rope someone into training with me.

In addition to my normal training schedule, I’ll also have more time to walk my two French Bulldogs, Pepper and Spice. They can’t handle going on long walks in the heat (and to be honest, neither can I while pregnant!), so my husband and I will take them twice daily walks, in the morning and in the evening. Aside from training and walking, it will be a relatively quiet Christmas and New Years for me. My social calendar isn’t too jam-packed, with most of my family and friends hanging out at my house rather than heading out. This likely means there will be less incidental physical activity, but I am okay with that with a growing bump!

Jake: Try something new!

For myself, the holiday session is a breath of fresh air. I usually like to be on the clock and keep that stopwatch running each training session as time is precious. I still try to stick to my timer between sets; however, during the break, I enjoy a bit of loitering and chatting with fellow gym dudes and dudettes while preparing for exercises. Especially at my local Club Lime, I know a fair bit of the membership base. It’s refreshing to be able to slow down, chat and then hit some hard sets.

It’s also a chance for me to get out of the gym and do something different. There’s a Wrestling Studio down the road from where I live and I’m planning on taking a couple of classes to help supplement my Jiu Jitsu. I also really love going on walks. The holidays are  a great chance to get out and explore. Hopefully Mel & I can do some nice long walks around Sydney and there’s no shortage of great spots to visit. Whether it’s Bondi to Bronti or Wentworth Falls, there’s plenty to see!

We all have our hobbies and do things we enjoy. Training simply happens to be something I really like to do. So, during the break, I tend to remain “active” but, trust me, when I’m not throwing some iron, bodies or hitting the trails, I’m most likely slouching on the couch killing time waiting for Squid Games Season 2 to come out!

Tom: Make the holiday period suit you

For me, the holiday break is a chance to have a little more flexibility in my schedule. I’ll likely have social events on most days over the next few weeks, but having time off from work will mean that I’ll have the chance to do things at my own pace (especially without needing to get up at 5am most days)! I also try to apply that same flexibility to my mindset around training and nutrition this time of year. It’s counterproductive to stress about missing training when I’m meant to be relaxing!

That being said, I don’t intend to make any planned changes to my training schedule over the break. I’d still like to lift weights 3 times a week, and do some cardio 2-3 times. What all this extra free time allows me to do is organise it however suits me. I could train early in the morning, later after a sleep-in, or even condense it into fewer days. Most importantly, I’m giving myself the flexibility to miss a session or two if that’s how things turn out!

The hot weather and packed calendar mean that my incidental activity is probably going to be lower than normal. It’s not ideal, but it’s also not the end of the world. Though with the rate at which grass grows at this time of year I’m sure I’ll get plenty of steps in with the mower!

Overall, this holiday period is all about just taking time to do what feels right on the day. The healthy habits are still there, but they’re not the priority. I’m looking forward to just hanging out with friends and family, chilling out, and catching up on sleep!

Bri: Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater

In the festive season, I cherish the freedom from the constraints of my watch. I adore having leisurely mornings, taking walks, and engaging in spontaneous activities throughout the day. During this period, I can do these without the need for a specific schedule dictated by time.

I love catching the morning sunshine for a walk (before it gets stinking hot). Grabbing a coffee at one of my favourite spots and going for a swim in the ocean and walking to dinner or if we are heading out for a drink.

My partner and I, absolutely love being outdoors and this has just become part of our day to day lifestyle. This means my movement will be remaining high unintentionally as those are the activities that we personally love doing. I have also been meaning to try paddle boarding this summer so that activity is certainly on the agenda!

When it comes to my own strength training, I will be continuing with my usual training sessions in the week. However, I also cut myself some slack if I miss a session if a social event or an activity arises. For me, missing a few sessions during the festive season isn’t a make or break as I know that I will be consistent the other 50 weeks of the year.

Aside from the activities and training sessions, I do spend this time relaxing, socialising and embracing the slow mornings, without the traffic.

Holidays are yours to spend

We encourage people to enjoy their breaks. This time of year is special, and to be cherished. Although we don’t suggest you derail all your health promoting habits, it’s unlikely that being a little bit more flexible than you usually are will hurt anything. In fact, allowing for flexibility as opposed to rigid cognitive-restraint is better for long term adherence and more sustainable. So please, enjoy your holiday time and use it as a chance to refresh and recharge for the new year. If you’re looking for all things health and fitness and how to hit your 2024 goals, you can contact us here.