PAURIC GRIMES: Avoiding the pitfalls of the festive season

CHRISTMAS can be the time of the year when the retired player and the active player sometimes can blend into one.

The thing about the active player is that they know they’ll be going back out to training in January, burning off whatever excess calories they’ve consumed over the festive period.Pauric Treanor, Paureic

In contrast, the retired player doesn’t have that luxury. Unfortunately, it often doesn’t stop them as just like so many of the lifestyle changes that occur as you transition away from playing ball, you’re attempting to break habits of a lifetime. So here are a couple of tips worth taking on board if you want to successfully navigate the festive period without gaining too many extra pounds –

1. Plan ahead. Make sure you’ve got your main meals lined up in advance because all the sweets can quite easily be the ruination of you. Throw in the lazy takeaway order as there’s nothing in the fridge, a breakfast missed with a hangover and the possibility of turning into a loaf of bread as all you’ve eaten is turkey and stuffing sandwiches. Put the effort in to ensure there’s better options available. You’ll thank yourself come January.

2. Stay active. Yes, I understand it’s the time of the year when the feet go up. There is no hate from me for you taking it easy. It’s well-earned. But don’t take the piss. Plan in walks at the very least. Who knows, you might even feel like you’re ready for a gym session come the 28th of December. Go and get it in. Maybe even set yourself a festive step target to ensure you have a goal to work towards day to day.

3. Get the water in. Staying hydrated is a no-brainer all year round but when routine goes out the window one of the first things that fall to the wayside is hydration. Even as a pre-emptive effort to avoid hangovers, drink water – two litres plus per day will keep you on the right side of things.

4. Don’t neglect sleep. When you’re off work for a couple of weeks, as mentioned above, the routine can vanish and the things which keep you right through normal times become forgotten about. If you’re staying up late every night and missing out on quality hours in the pit your body is going to respond by looking for energy from the simplest sources it can get its hands on. Hello box of Roses. So try your best to maintain a good sleep pattern whenever the social schedule allows it.

5. And do be social. Get out of the house. Visit your friends and family, but don’t do it all inside the four walls of a pub or coffee shop. Get out for walks, and meet up for one of any number of races and charity events that are run up and down the country over Christmas. Make the effort with who you’re meeting and how you’re meeting them and you’ll find out that by doing that it can take care of all of the above for you!

And finally, if you reach the 1st of January and look back over the previous two weeks with shame and horror at how you drank, eat and did absolutely zero exercise, that window of time is only a couple of percentage points of your year.

Shake yourself off and go again.PG

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