Pilates classes and physiotherapy in Central, Hong Kong

Get in Shape after Summer! (Part 1)

Get in Shape after Summer! (Part 1)

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Date: Aug 15, 2016

Article by 
Claire V. Dickson 
Pilates Instructor & Movement Specialist and full time Mum

The end of the summer holiday season is upon us and it means it’s time to get back to everyday routines, work, family commitments and your fitness routine. What better time than to re-evaluate those regular activities and set new goals, aims and challenges into your fitness schedule to keep you from falling back into old habits that are no longer making positive changes to your body and health.

Holiday benefits:

A summer get-away is a must for most of us working hard in busy city jobs in front of computer screens, sitting for many hours and juggling work life commitments and adhering to deadlines . Simply ‘getting away’ from your desk will have a positive effect on your back and posture, enabling your spine to move more. Holidays of course play an important role in releasing stress by being outdoors, walking, swimming, laughing and perhaps being more active. More sleep and time for relaxing all help to rest your neck and shoulders away from a seated position leaning over a laptop or other similar device. You will reap the rewards of clearer skin and boosted immune system while enjoying the sunshine soaking up much needed Vitamin D.

After your well earned break be mindful to try and keep these holiday health benefits, use this break to start anew:

  • Reevaluate your desk chair- are you sitting high enough? Is your computer screen at your eye level? Have a look at the picture to see what changes you can make to keep your neck back, shoulders and wrists in the best possible position [see picture]
  • Remember to get up from your chair and walk around at least 1 x per hour
  • Keep Moving…… have a fresh look at your weekly fitness routine (see below)
  • Drink Water. Keep a small glass of water on your desk – small because you then you have to get up to refill it! Plenty of water, we definitely need it! Drinking large quantities of alcohol is bad for your health. Alcohol contains many calories and also causes dehydration. To make up for your holiday alcohol consumption, drink plenty of water. Your skin, kidneys and many others organs will benefit. What's more, drinking water makes you feel fuller:  if you drink more, you will eat less!
  • Go to bed early and keep a regular bedtime, endeavor to continue to get around 7 hours sleep a night
  • Stay active, aside from your set routine, find opportunities to walk, use the stairs, walk an extra block to the next MTR station or bus stop.
  • Eat well, don’t diet.  Watching what you eat after having overindulged is a good thing. However, a diet that is too drastic or too low in calories may not be the solution. Your body will react better to a regular healthy eating plan than to alternating between overindulging and strict dieting. Maintaining healthy eating habits over the long run is a more effective strategy for increasing your well-being and losing weight.
  • Take a fresh approach to how and what you eat. You may have eaten very differently over your holidays, if you have over indulged that might well have you craving healthier options of fresh crunchy salads and fruits, or you may have tried some new summer foods that you could incorporate into your regular diet. (I bought a Spiralizer and I am loving ‘courgetti spaghetti’!) 
  • Prepare food at home. Cook! The best way to control what you eat, how much you eat and how healthy it is. Skip the catch-up dinners/socializing drinks/aperitifs/ brunch etc. instead meet up with your friends after a meal for a walk or for a cup of tea or healthy, green smoothy instead of alcohol.  As we all know eating with company and eating out we tend to eat more than we would if alone, so be mindful to stick to healthy options and adapt to it your “catching-up” habits and voilà! you have a win-win situation