Shape Up for the First of the Year Festive Season–The year-end festive season is one that many of us look forward to, as it is the time to reunite with people we’ve not met for a while. This is also the time when you start to receive invitations to dinners, parties, and feasts. On such occasions, you’d want to look and feel your best, right?

If youve not been a disciplined gym rat this year, here’s a quick guide to propel you towards getting that fitter, sleeker body after December’s blitz!

Generally-speaking, any fitness plan should comprise a good mix of cardiovascular, weight and resistance training. On top of these, don’t forget to incorporate exercises that develop mindfulness to keep you grounded and connected with reality, so that you’re all charged up for the new year with great new resolutions, hopefully. 

WEIGHT AND RESISTANCE TRAINING

Whats the best way to keep your weight in check while you indulge in festive treats? Get a higher metabolism.

Lifting weights fires up your metabolism in three ways. First, exercising uses energy and raises your metabolism as you work out. Next—and this is where weightlifting differs from a cardiovascular workout—it results in afterburn, whereby your metabolism is elevated for the next 24-48 hours after the workout. Lastly, it helps to build lean muscles, which compared to fat tissues, require more energy to function effectively and be maintained. This means that your body requires more calories to perform daily activities.

For an effective and fun weightlifting session, check out the Les Mill’s GRIT Strength™ class. This High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)-style workout is designed to improve strength and build muscles. Whats more, it lasts for only a jiffy 30 minutes. Combined with powerful music and inspirational coaches, you’ll be motivated to sprint to your limits until the end of the session.

CARDIO WORKOUT

Though weight training provides great metabolic benefits, don’t forget to complement it with cardiovascular exercises such as running and rowing, which raise your heart rate and make you breathe heavily. They’re good for improving blood circulation and strengthening the heart and lungs, promoting overall good health. Moreover, cardio exercises help to build your endurance level and increase blood volume, which is useful when it comes to weight training.

Despite the benefits of such exercises, it’s common for people to avoid the treadmill or elliptical machines because of their monotony. Here’s the secret: cardio workouts can be very fun and challenging, especially when done in a group, where your fellow gym goers can keep you motivated.

One such group exercise is Piloxing, a dynamic class fast gaining popularity here. Created by Swedish dancer and celebrity trainer Viveca Jensen, Piloxing is a fusion of Pilates, boxing, and dance aimed to build stamina while burning calories. The principles of boxing and Pilates applied in this class create a sense of balance both mentally and physically. What’s more, the groovy music played in the sessions will leave you wanting to move more, torching additional calories.

Shape Up First of the Year Festive Season

Shape Up for the First of the Year Festive Season, SOULSCAPE

BODY AND MIND BALANCE

Things can get frenetic during the holiday season, especially if you’ve to plan one party after another or have multiple late nights, throwing your body’s rhythm off balance and leaving you feeling worn out. But this doesn’t mean that you need to give up on all the fun. After all, Christmas happens only once a year, so you’d want to go all out to see your friends and loved ones.

Restore peace and stability in your body and mind with a Stress Management Yoga class, which consists of breathing techniques combined with yoga postures targeted at lowering stress levels. A relaxed mind recharges you and keeps you positive for day-to-day challenges.

More often than not, Christmas and New Year dinners—think booze and log cakes—leave our bodies more sluggish and bloated than usual. Counter the effects of the toxicity in the body with a rejuvenating Detox Yoga session which aims to help your body get rid of toxins and waste. The series of yoga postures stimulate the circulatory and lymphatic systems to clear toxins. Yoga practice also incorporates breath work, meditation and release of stagnant mental patterns.

Finally, as the year comes to an end, wind down with a relaxing Yin Yoga class, a quiet yet profound style of yoga based on the expression of theories derived from Chinese medicine and Taoism. This is also an ideal time to reflect on the past year, and at the same time develop new goals and perspectives for the wonderful year ahead.