Top 10 Tips for Coping with Xmas-New Year as a Masters Athlete


Xmas-New year is upon us! The time to wind down and relax with family and friends, refelct on the past and plan the future! But also a time to watch the waist line bubble out and the hard-earned fitness take a battering too! Here are my top 10 tips from science and experience that I hope can help you through this upcoming festive season without the clothing sizes and heart rates going up as a result of too much tucker and too little exercise.

  1. Quality over quantity: If time is your enemy as a result of family and social commitments, train hard if you can’t train long. Research has shown we can maintain our fitness with two quality workouts well-speard over a week. Research as also shown us that high intensity training has greater benefits than long workouts – as long as we’ve got the base of training well developed.
  2. Commit to Fitness: Doing something is better than doing nothing so fit in what you can when you can and remember that every step counts – espcially in terms of wearing off the Xmas puddings and peanuts!!
  3. Can the Cans: Soft drinks, fruit juices, latte’s and alcoholic drinks and mixed spirits contain plenty of calories. Plan to use or choose diet options in doft drinks and mixers and fruit punches, drink water or herbal teas.
  4. Keep yourself honest: with regular weighing on the scales after hitting the toilet in the morning.
  5. Minimize the portion sizes: Research has shown that how much we eat is related to what’s in front of us. So use smaller plates at parties or at home, use the smaller glasses and use smaller protions on the plates.
  6. Fill the plate with high fiber and low calories options first: Fill 2/3 of the plate with vegetables, fruit and whole grain breads. These fill us up without being high in calories. The rest of the plate is where the meat goes with fish and low fat meat the best options. Palm size is best for the meat and easily meats the protien needs of the day.
  7. Don’t save yourself for big meal: Starving yoursf and turning up hungry for Xmas-New year party or meal is a no-no! The hungrier you are, the more you will eat and it will be rish high calories tucker you will be eating! Eat filling and healthy options prior to going to the event or eating the meal.
  8. Drink a glass of water before eating. One theory behind being ‘hungry’ is a shrunken stomach. So swell it with water – no calories and healthy option! That way your tummy will fill more easily and make you less likely to eat more food.
  9. Exercise on Xmas Day: Get out early and have a run, swim, surf, ride or long walk with family or partner. Burn off the calories on those quiet Xmas Day early mornings. Remember ‘every step counts’ when it comes to maintaining or losing weight.
  10. Remember it is Xmas Time: It’s OK to ‘let go’ and enjoy yourself. It’s OK to have a day off training, to eat and drink a little more. It is Xmas time after all. Do a little more exercise each day leading into the festive days and a little more each day leading out of the same days. It’s just a blip in a long program so enjoy the family and friends without any guilt at all.

Have a safe, happy and well-deserved Xmas-New Year from The Masters Athlete team.