For me, exercise is as much a mental activity as it is a physical one. I need at least three workouts a week to come up with the energy necessary to take on my busy work and social schedule. But after training hard all year round, I tend to hit a wall from time to time. My physique stops improving, the routines become unchallenging and I spend more of my workout thinking about what to have for dinner than focusing on the exercise at hand.
Like the rest of the world, Christmas is typically a time of year I eat more, drink more and indeed put my feet up a little more. And I don’t feel guilty about it either, because I know January is just around the corner.
So isn’t it convenient that the body always seems to respond best after a break/change from your routine?
My first workout of the year was a calisthenics circuit, and even the most familiar bodyweight exercises required my full attention. The sweat rolled off my temple in streams and my heart rate hit a new maximum that thoroughly shook me out of my chocolate-fuelled festive lull.
To say I felt a little rusty is an understatement, but that’s a good thing. Dusting off the cobwebs is my favourite part of the New Year. When I finished that workout I immediately felt a change in my posture, muscle tone and energy levels – I’d kicked the turkey slump into the past and started a positive chain reaction that will get me through the rest of 2014.
Just seven workouts in and I’m already hitting new personal bests, tackling tougher exercises and feeling the benefits of the fresh winter air in my lungs. Now what else will I achieve with all these feel good hormones pulsing through my veins?