We all love holidays, and they can be great for rejuvenating mind, body and soul, but sometimes the accumulated effects of too much alcohol, lots of big restaurant meals, sleep lost to jet lag or partying, and not enough exercise can take their toll. So what’s the best way to get in shape again after you return home? Following are a few ideas to help you get back on track.
Weigh yourself…or not. You know your personality type. If having a specific number to work with motivates you, assess the damage as soon as you get home. But if you’re more likely to be discouraged by what you see, give yourself a couple of weeks on your regular routine before jumping on the scales.
Drink plenty of water. Rehydrate and help your body’s systems function at their best. There’s no need for special cleanses or detox diets (your liver, kidneys and skin are extremely effective at flushing out waste products).
Eat lots of fibre-rich foods. You probably didn’t follow your usual eating habits while you were travelling, so if you were eating a lot of processed foods you’ll want to get your digestion back on track.
Take a break from eating out. If you’re craving your favourite home-cooked meals after being away, take advantage of that motivation to get in the habit of cooking whenever you can. When you make your own meals, you’re in control of the ingredients and can avoid the empty calories and excess sugar found in many restaurant meals.
Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Get a few extra winks each night if you have some catching up to do, but don’t sleep until noon on the weekends. Your body prefers a regular rhythm.
Create an exercise plan. If you don’t have an exercise routine to jump back into, now is the perfect time to start one. Your ideal workout plan will depend on your health, age, diet, schedule, goals and many other variables, but for most people the key to sticking with something long term is finding an enjoyable activity. Sign up for a dance class, join a gym or pool, or just commit to running or riding your bike regularly on your own. (If you need extra motivation, try one of the many apps that allow you to stake money on meeting your exercise goals.)
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up about what you should have done differently over the summer, or feel guilty about indulging while you were on vacation. Just take responsibility for establishing good habits now and keep your goals top of mind without agonizing over every decision. The important thing is to focus on the present.
Do you have any other tips for getting back on track at the end of the summer?