By Roger Lockridge

The holidays are meant to be enjoyed without any regret. You spent time with loved ones, spread joy, and took in some calories that may have not been so healthy. You also may or may not have made it to the gym every day.

It’s ok. You did what you had to do but now you’re ready to start moving forward and getting back on track. The only way you can improve is to start, right? It might be tough for some of us because once you’re off track, getting back on can be a challenge. If you focus on taking it one step at a time, the chances of success are greater. Start with these tips and the rest can fall back in place faster for you.

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Decide the Date.

If you want to finish, you need to know when you’re starting. This date is your first commitment in the process. Your first steps, reps, and healthy calories need to be done on this day. There’s another benefit that comes with this. Between now and that day, you can enjoy yourself without beating yourself up because you know that day is approaching.

Get hydrated now.

Water is always the number one step that makes or breaks you. Hydration is the most important part of the plan not only for fitness but life in general. So make sure you keep the water intake high regardless of what else you do during your time you may be doing other things. Drink at least 16 ounces as soon as you wake up and 16 more ounces with each meal. Of course you’re going to have other beverages too and that’s okay but don’t skip the H2O.

Sleep well.

This isn’t just a crucial part of recovery but it’s also vital in preparation. If you’re not rested then you’ll struggle to start when you’re ready to get back into full training. This will be even harder after the surplus of calories you’ve been taking in. Six hours of sleep is a minimum but take in eight whenever you can. Don’t be afraid to set that alarm for an hour later if your schedule allows it.

Get your mind right.

There’s several angles to this. You can’t beat yourself up about what you did during the holidays because the whole point of the season is to have a good time and enjoy those around you. Make sure you commit to that date you set in the first step and start looking for positive influences. They can be on social media, family, friends, or quotes. Check out videos online to motivate you if that’s what it takes. Positivity and balance without negative influences are what’s important.

Go but start slow.

Don’t try to go 100 percent right out of the box. You’ll likely be sore, not as strong as you were before the holidays, and won’t be able to pick up right where you left off. Acknowledge that and start slow. Walk more and slowly working running into the time you spend doing cardio. Don’t push yourself every set in the weight room. Start out by stimulating muscle and work your way up before going all out. This

will help you get back in your groove sooner and will decrease your risk of injury. Slow and steady will help you win your race.

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