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5 Tips To Get Back On Track Post-Holiday

7th September 2021

7th September 2021

By Shivraj Bassi

Struggling through your post holiday blues? Looking for tips on how to get back on track post holiday? Aren't we all.

It’s easy to let healthy eating and workouts slip down your list of priorities when you're on holiday. Let's be honest, that's what holidays are all about, right? Treating yourself. All in the name of self care. 

This tends to happen because the triggers for healthy habits (like your favourite 6am gym alarm) can go missing from your routine. Getting back to a healthy way of life post holiday can be tough - but the sooner you do it, the easier it will be.

Despite those post holiday blues, don't procrastinate. These five simple tips will help.

Schedule your workouts

Habit psychology tells us you’re more likely to carry out a healthy behaviour if you’ve planned it. In other words, if it isn’t scheduled, it won’t happen. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Grab your diary and schedule your workouts for the week, then set an action plan to make sure it happens. Pack your trainers the night before or make plans to meet a friend for a run. You could also use the power of consequences to motivate yourself.

You're much less likely to bail if you have to pay for a skipped class. Sounds like tough love, but it works. And it's one of the best ways to beat the effects of holiday indulgence. 

Start off slow

You've had some time off, so don't go all-guns-blazing when you get back to the gym. 

Remember to warm up (and down), properly prepare yourself, get your well-fitted workout gear on and take it easy. 

Get back and track

The easiest and most powerful thing you can do to get your eating back on track is to keep a food diary. Studies show that dieters who track their food can lose twice as much weight as those who don't. Fact. It cuts eating amnesia, helps you refocus and gets you back on track. Fast.

Start your day with a high protein breakfast 

If you’re struggling with cravings after a holiday, a high protein breakfast can help. Protein switches on satiety and puts the brakes on hunger hormones, meaning the mid-morning munchies are a thing of the past.

Around 30g of protein is ideal - a single serving of any of our superfood protein blends will tick this box - simply mix with water or almond milk, and even a handful of frozen fruits, for a speedy on-the-go breakfast. 

Some of our favourite breakfasts to get back on track after a bit of good old fashioned holiday indulgence is a classic Pancakes, Blueberries and Manuka Honey recipe. If those aren't your thing, though, here are some quick and easy breakfast ideas that we're sure you'll enjoy. 

Bin the booze

You may want to have a little drink or two to wind down and take the edge off of those post holiday blues, but let's face it, we all know alcohol is high in calories. However, that’s not the only way it can sabotage good intentions.

Alcohol triggers hunger, slaps down sleep quality and increases production of galanin, a brain chemical which increases cravings for fatty foods. Give yourself a two-week booze ban and see your good intentions snap back into place. Trust us on this one. 

It's time to snooze (yes, really) 

Balmy holiday evenings are blissful, but nipping late nights in the bud will benefit your body. Tiredness increases hunger hormones and studies show sleepy brains are more drawn to junk food.

Work out how many hours rest you need (for most of us, seven to eight is ideal) then work backwards, and make sure you’re in bed half an hour before this time - for extra points turn your electronic devices off, as the light from them interferes with the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. If you need some extra energy, try The Energy Booster – a pre or intra-workout supplement that’s developed to help you get the most out of your workouts and snap you out of that post-holiday slumber.

Getting back into the work routine 

An absolute life hack (if you can) is to book off the day after you get back from holiday as annual leave to give yourself that extra little bit of leeway. There's nothing worse than rushing back from the airport after the holiday of a lifetime to have to scramble a work outfit together and get out the door and on your commute the next morning. Especially after a late night flight. 

We've been there, and never again.

The night before 

Pack your lunch, lay out your outfit and have a clear game plan in place. Taking the bus? Check those times. Got a train to catch? Make sure you're tracking it's arrival. As we've already said, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Get yourself sorted ASAP.

On the day

Get yourself up nice and early and give yourself plenty of time to prepare. Remember to eat a nutritious breakfast, hydrate and shower to really set yourself in good stead. 

Maybe even head to the gym beforehand to really wake yourself up and get yourself reeling the benefits of the exercise-induced serotonin for the day? 

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From the Bedroom to the Gym: Is Your Sex Life Affecting Your Workout Performance?
The relationship between sex and workout performance is one that’s long been debated by scientists and fitness fanatics alike. It’s complicated and multifaceted, so answering the question of whether your sex life is affecting your training is difficult. That said, today we’re going to take a look at a variety of evidence, both academic and anecdotal, as well as several different scenarios and at least try to reduce some of the mystery around the subject. First, it helps to understand what’s actually happening to the body, both physically and psychologically, during both activities.   The Effects of Sex on the Body Sexual activity causes several changes to occur in the body:   Physical Changes That Occur During Sex During sexual activity and the lead up to it, the human body undergoes a process known as the sexual response cycle. This is the case for both males and females, though the cycle can be highly individual and may not be the same each time for each person. Describing the full sexual response cycle is beyond the scope of this article, however it consists of 4 phases: Desire Arousal Orgasm Resolution Factors such as elevated heart rate, increased blood flow and pressure and heightened muscle tension all come into play. If you’d like to read about the sexual response cycle in more detail, check out this great article from Cleveland Clinic.   Psychological Changes That Occur During Sex Several psychological changes occur both during and after sex. Most notable are the release of endorphins and oxytocin, which are associated with improved mood and a better sense of wellbeing. These are also responsible for reduced stress levels, which brings a multitude of additional benefits that are of particular interest to those of us participating in regular training and exercise. Cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress, is catabolic in high levels, meaning it can cause the breakdown of lean tissue. So, whilst it is unclear whether sex itself affects workout performance, the reduction in stress levels it may bring is definitely beneficial for preserving our results!   The Effects of Exercise and Training on the Body Exercise and training also cause the body to undergo a number of changes. These occur both during and after the physical activity. There are in fact a number of similarities in changes that happen during exercise and sex:   Physical Changes That Occur During Exercise The physical changes that happen in the body vary based on the type of exercise being undertaken, however, there are some that are common to exercise in general: Increased heart rate Increased blood flow, especially to the muscles Faster, deeper breathing due to additional oxygen needs Heightened activity within the circulatory, respiratory, musculoskeletal and endocrine systems A full summary of the changes that occur within these systems can be found here. More aerobically demanding exercise will, of course, place greater emphasis on the circulatory and respiratory systems as well as causing fat to be metabolised as an energy source. Resistance training, which often relies more heavily on the lactate and creatine phosphate energy systems, instead promotes greater muscular and endocrine (hormone) activity. Note the common physical changes between sex and exercise here, as they do crossover!   Psychological Changes That Occur During Exercise The psychological changes that occur during exercise are similar to those experienced during sexual activity and are mostly related to the release of endorphins and other ‘feelgood’ hormones. These help to regulate mood, and it is common knowledge that frequent exercise and leading an active, healthy lifestyle promotes a feeling of wellbeing.   Does Sex Affect Our Workouts? This is where things become complicated. Though extensive studies have been done on the subject, the results of these have varied massively. We must also take into account the experience of individuals, and this anecdotal evidence again has huge variance. Let’s look at both:   Sex and Training: What the Science Says Scientific studies on the relationship between sex and training are contradictory at best. There’s no denying the positive benefits of both activities, particularly from a psychological perspective, but as for the effect of sex on actual performance in the gym the results are inconclusive. A study, published in April 2021, by Kirecci, Albayrak and co. examined the effects of sexual activity of 50 men in the 24 hours prior to training on lower body strength. The study measured effects by having the men perform 3 separate squat sessions, each at the same time of day. Each of these sessions occurred after participating in or abstaining from sexual activity the night before. The men performed 5 sets of 5 repetitions of their maximum squat weight during these sessions and the difference in weight lifted was observed. The study concluded that ‘sexual intercourse within 24 hours before exercise [has a] detrimental effect on lower extremity muscle force, which suggests that restricting sexual activity before a short-term activity may be necessary.’ Aside from this study, most others found either no notable relationship between sex and athletic performance. A meta-analysis of 9 crossover studies, conducted by Zavorsky and Brooks and published on 16 September 2022, confirms this. The analysis concluded that ‘The results demonstrate that sexual activity within 30 min to 24 h before exercise does not appear to affect aerobic fitness, musculoskeletal endurance, or strength/power.’ This is perhaps more notable, because these studies incorporated different types of exercise and were not restricted purely to a strength/power based activity like squats.   Anecdotal Evidence: What About the Experiences of Real Gym Goers? The anecdotal evidence is, as expected, highly individualised. However, there tends to be a bias against the results of most studies, particularly in those participating in sports involving strength and aggression. For example, many fighters claim that they perform better when they abstain from sex in the days leading up to a contest. Similarly, bodybuilding forums are full of debate on this topic and many claim they note a significant decrease in motivation to train at maximum intensity after sexual activity. It has been hypothesised that this may be due to a downregulation in testosterone production after sex; during orgasm the mineral zinc is released in the body and this is also a precursor for natural testosterone production in the body and may, therefore, provide some reasoning as to the experience of many trainees.   Key Takeaways The relationship between sex and workout performance will always be a complicated one. The effects of one on the other in terms of physical fitness and, in particular, mental wellbeing, are clear, but when it comes to actual performance this appears to be highly individual. We’d advise doing what feels best for you but not worrying too much about it. Instead, prioritise your nutrition and make sure you’re fuelling your workouts properly. While you’re here, why not take a look at the Innermost range? We’re proud to be completely transparent about the ingredients in our products and we always ensure they’re of the highest quality. Check us out, and be sure to get in touch if you have any questions! Read more