The party season is upon us and many of you will still be hitting the gym to burn off the last few pounds before your work Christmas party so that you're looking your best.
Training is not only about weight loss and being fitter, it's also about the positive effects that exercise has on your wellbeing and overall confidence.
Being healthy and glowing with energy is a lot better than being too thin with no energy and lacking in life force. As I said before, it took a while to gain those extra inches and pounds and it takes a while to lose it, too. Don't try to force your body to work against your mind.
Fighting the last few pounds is not the answer. Vicki Notaro (who did our 'Drop a Dress Size in Ten Weeks Programme -- see our E-paper at herald.ie for back issues) lost 23lbs over 10 weeks which was a fantastic result for her, while reaching her target.
Target is the main word. When your trainer sets out your target, you know exactly what you're aiming for.
Once you set clear and decisive goals and there is no inner conflict fighting against your goal, you are guaranteed to be successful. However, you still need to stay focused and don't let anyone distract you from your dream.
With Christmas just around the corner, it's the perfect time to plan your next adventure and set goals for the New Year. Buy a good food diary and each day, write down clear and definite targets in all areas of your life.
Imagine your life as a pizza -- each slice represents a part of your life, some will take priority but all areas should be covered.
As you write every day, your main focus will get clearer and you may find yourself day dreaming -- this is a good sign as you can focus on making your dream a reality.
With just over a week to go to Christmas you can still lose 2/3lbs.
Stick to our plan, train twice daily with one hour of cardio and one hour of weights. You should be able to do walk five miles an hour or even more.
For example, in last week's Clonakilty Marathon there were hundreds of people walking who were well into their 60s and they could walk five miles an hour -- so you have no excuse.
Healthy Gifts for Christmas
1 A Complete Full Body Ki-Massage
This can be very beneficial in relieving all the stress and tension from the back, neck and shoulders (see, above right). It is also great for keeping the joints supple and helps avoid injury in the gym. Michael Cantwell was recently voted best masseur in Ireland. Phone 661 6195 for an appointment, prices start at €40.
2 Garmin gps Watch
This watch gives you your speed heart rate, virtual racer, which allows you to race against yourself. Then you can upload it to your computer and share the information with your coach etc.
A great gift, it costs about €180 on Amazon.
3 A Personal Training Session
If you constantly train on your own, you may need a little bit of additional help to improve your training. A once-off personal training session can help you with a more individually designed workout to suit your own particular needs. This can give you the results you are looking for faster and more efficiently as it will be tailormade for you.
Prices vary from between €40 and €90.
4 Gait Analysis Test and New Runners
This simple test can help avoid soreness in your feet, knees and back, just by getting fitted out properly. Check out Elverys and it's free.
5 Under Armour Cold Weather Gear
Great for protection from the elements, these breathable materials let sweat evaporate, avoiding chill through your bones.
A women's hooded long-sleeve top (right) costs €45.50.
6 Register for an Event and Book a Weekend Away
To coincide with a race either in Ireland or Europe check out activeeurope.com for more information.
7 Buy a Good Hybrid Bike and go mountain biking.
You can mountain bike in places such as Ballyhoura or Ballinastoe. It's a great day out for all the family and it's a perfect way to blow off the cobwebs. Prices start at about €150 for a basic model.
8 Gym Membership
Remember the cheapest is not always the best so go for reputation, experience, knowledge and results. You generally pay for what you get and you deserve the best. With proper instruction it can save you years of wasting your time and never getting results. Expect to pay anything from €200 to €600 a year.
Have a great Christmas and make the call to someone you may have fallen out with. Try to bridge the gap and clear up unfinished business.
Perhaps you might even consider joining in the Christmas Day sea water swim at a place closest to you.