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Four strategies for regaining fitness after the holidays

Elena Casiraghi, PhD

Getting back into shape is one of the most popular goals for people during September. Summer holidays are a precious and unique time to relax mind and body. It can be said that the culinary mischief is part of the refreshment that our body needs a couple of times a year. The interruption of an optimal physical form is to the psycho-physical well-being just as the recovery period is to the sports activity. Two moments that you cannot ignore if the desire is to improve your fitness over time. In practice, the rupture of physical form is the natural process that allows you to rebuild it more effectively.
The time to relax was a moment of pure enjoyment. And now it's time to find your balance in all lightness. Because, as Prof. Franco Berrino reminds us, "lightness is not only a matter of body weight and fat mass, it is rather an existential condition that involves the mind, heart, and spirit. A lightness that allows enthusiasm, passion, joy, and love to manifest themselves freely". So we thought to give you in this article some simple and practical suggestions to find -or maintain- the physical form and mental wellness. From the table to the practice of physical activity, without neglecting the spirit.

Observing life from a new point of view

Choosing to feel good through a positive lifestyle, in fact, is a concept that goes beyond nutrition, which considers it but also physical activity and mindfulness. If you want to feel good, nutrition and exercise are two essential factors. On the one hand, it is a question of eliminating harmful foods and inserting positive ones into them, and so, of exercising with moderation and constancy. And scientific research shows that progress has also been made in this area: not more exercise time but the quality of exercise itself.
No longer long and slow training sessions but playing with the intensity of the load, the most appropriate times of the day and use the exercise against resistance. This can not only promote an effective reduction in fat mass, better management of glycemic metabolism, bone health and cardiovascular and cognitive benefits but also allows us to age well, that is, more slowly and healthily. Nutrition and training can change the expression of our genes. This allows us to maximise the performance of the body. The goal is to focus on the healthy aspects of nutrition and not healthy ones.
Sitting at the table should always be a pleasure, thus it is necessary to identify the positive elements of a correct lifestyle. This article desires to provide practical information on how to eat positively, how to practice physical activity and relax the mind from the many daily stimuli.

Wanting to feel better when you are already well is a present choice to improve our near future.

Feed yourself well: how to compose a healthy dish. The basic components

Follow these instructions: with each meal you put together in a balanced way - choose carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Fats are also essential. For too long they have been denigrated, perhaps because of their high energy intake compared to proteins and carbohydrates (every gram of lipids, in fact, provides about 9 kcal, while the same amount of carbohydrates and proteins about 4 kcal).
In limited doses, without a doubt, and choose the "good" ones such as the extra virgin olive oil which can be useful for example to season vegetables.

  • Start your meal with a plate of vegetables, raw or steamed, grilled (for this method of cooking uses herbs whose polyphenols will protect the food from the processes of carbonization) or baked.
Salad with peppers
  • Choose the type of protein you want to consume such as fish, white meat (chicken, turkey, rabbit) or vegetarian sources (soybeans, low-fat cheeses, egg white). Remember to always consume a quantity equal to the palm and the thickness of your hand. You can find about 30 g of protein in just over 120 g of chicken or turkey or about 130 g of mozzarella, for example. Add a part of vegetables, raw or cooked, to go with them. Dress your dish with a tablespoon of raw extra virgin olive oil.
  • End the meal with a bowl of fresh fruit or large seasonal fruit such as an apple or a pear.

Remember not to let more than 5 hours elapse between meals. Snacks are important.
The sequence with which you consume your food also counts. The authors of a recent study have observed that consuming carbohydrate foods after vegetables and protein-bearing foods prevents the post-meal peak of glucose and insulin. In other words, this succession of foods seems to have a better health impact than other combinations.

Train this way with indoor cycling

Our lives are hectic, we're always on the move. Daily commitments lead to the day being overwhelmed. And we feel so with the inexorable flow of his hours. But as Sydney J. Harris says, "the right time to relax is when you don't have time”. It's not a question of adding more stress to the day but introducing short moments of physical activity at moderate intensity playing on the most strategic moments of the day both for effectiveness and for time availability.
Suppose you have Technogym's cycling indoor training equipment such as MyCycling and/or Skillbike - you can do 3 training sessions per week: two shorter and one longer (on the road or always indoor). Training is not getting tired and what counts is the stimulus of training, even when you have little time available.

  • MyCycling combines a hi-tech smart trainer, a native app with personalized programs and a network of professional trainers able to guide you and develop a tailor-made training program for you.
  • Skillbike, the revolutionary stationary bike that enables cyclists, triathletes and cycling enthusiasts to live the emotion and challenge of outdoor experiences in an indoor environment.

In the first short session (min 30') keep agile pedalling for the whole session, after a first warm-up phase insert a 20-30" sprint every 5 minutes, keeping regular intervals between the sprints. Finish the session with a few minutes of cool-down. This training is great for fasting as well.

Athlete trains with MyCycling
  • In the second short session of the week (min 30') keeping agile pedalling for the whole session, after a first warm-up phase, you then perform from 5 to 10 times (depending on your level of training and time available) 40" of the sprint in progression followed by 20" of recovery. Recover 5-10 minutes. Finish the session with a few minutes of cool-down.
  • In the longest session (≥ 45 minutes) you can do, for example at the weekend, warm yourself up for the first time and then 5 to 8 times 3 minutes at a fast pace followed by 1 minute of recovery. End the session with at least 5 minutes of cool-down.
If you prefer walking or running on MyRun to MyCycling, you can use the training menus above to walk or run.

Remember: in your indoor or outdoor sessions under strong sunlight, keep yourself hydrated by regularly taking water and an isotonic mixture of mineral salts. The presence of the latter in the drink will promote optimal hydration and gastric emptying compared to the intake of water alone.

MyRun: train in the tranquility of your home!

Think like this: the power of the present moment

Mindfulness is the ability to stay in the present moment in an intentional and non-judgmental way, it is undoubtedly one of the central aspects of yoga that enhances the ability to focus in the here and now, acting significantly on three areas:

  • The attention to the present;
  • The attitude to openness and acceptance of the experiences that life offers us;
  • The ability to understand deeply, to achieve.
We encounter the complexity of the yoga postures, which makes a careful and profound approach almost natural. Proceed in tune with the sensations and messages that the body deactivates the obsession of "how do I look?". That's why there are no mirrors in yoga studios. This is to help practitioners not to crystallize on fixed patterns, imposed by the perfect position, by the desire to look beautiful and fit. Turning attention inside oneself improves body awareness, makes one feel satisfied, less critical of one's own body.
Carving out a weekly yoga session and/or a small routine of poses during the year, to be performed in the morning as soon as you wake up or in the evening before going to bed, can be a winning strategy for managing stress, removing negative energies and recharging oneself with positive ones, welcoming the moment you arrive with the best attitude.

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