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Why Your Aches and Pains Get Worse After the Holidays (And What to Do About It)

Why Your Aches and Pains Get Worse After the Holidays (And What to Do About It)

We're right in the middle of the holiday season, and that means we're all surrounded with excuses to skip our workouts.

Everything from travel, to shopping days, to unusual work schedules all conspire to keep you out of the gym, but you may have noticed something else working against you, too.

If your aches and pains seem to have gotten worse in the past month or so, you're definitely not alone.

Aches and pains can increase during, and especially after, the holidays, and it turns out there's a scientific explanation.

To help you be prepared and actively combat this creeping issue, let's take a look at three different things which are making your workouts harder during that November to December stretch.

And if you want additional support on how to reduce aches and pains, download our Body Fix Guide here!

You Are Off Your Normal Schedule


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For most of us, “The Holidays” constitute more than just a day or two of celebration. There are family visits, long drives, special events to go check out, and a number of days off work.


Even though the holidays are typically a good thing, bringing friends and family closer together, there's no denying the fact that it can be really disruptive in terms of scheduling.


Of course there are smaller, more insidious conflicts which we often overlook.


If your grandchild is in a winter concert at school, if you need to spend an evening shopping and another one wrapping presents, if you’re hosting a holiday dinner party for friends, these are all events that you have to fit in somewhere.


Often, this happens at the expense of your workouts.


Now, we're not telling you to skip all those wonderful things!


The holidays are important, but it's also important for you to understand what's going on with your body.


Lack of movement can lead to muscle stiffness and soreness, and going off your usual workout schedule can trigger those symptoms.


So be aware and be careful if you're getting back into a workout after taking a few weeks off for the holidays.


Richer Foods Can Lead to More Pain


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You might be doing a good job getting your five servings of fruit and veggies a day, but that plan goes straight out the window in the face of Christmas dinner.


Holiday meals, and the days of leftovers which follow them, can mess with your system more than you may realize.


Many of our favorite holiday treats can cause inflammation throughout the body, and that's going to become noticeable when you try to workout.


Most of us wind up eating more inflammatory foods during the holidays, which leads to an increase in pain.


Some things to watch out for are excessive sugar, refined carbohydrates (Christmas cookies, anyone?), trans fats (often hidden in products like packaged foods), and alcohol.


Chances are, all these foods and more are available in abundance at your average holiday meal.


Working out while dealing with increased inflammation can lead to greater aches and pains, and longer recovery times.


Now, we're not telling you to skip your family meals – after all, this only happens once a year – but rather to take it easy on your post-holiday workouts to prevent injuring yourself, and to get back to healthy eating sooner rather than later.

If you've noticed increased difficulty getting through your workouts in December, the things you're eating might be the culprit.


Remember to bring any dietary concerns to your fitness coach so they can recommend some healthy changes, and adjust your workout accordingly.


Bloat Causes More Problems than Tight Pants


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The extra glass of wine, the generous scoop of cheese dip, the pie a la mode... you don't need an expert to tell you that weight loss can stall or even reverse during the holidays.


This isn't necessarily a reason to panic, especially if you're already committed to healthy eating and consistent workouts, but it is worth paying attention to.


As you enjoy the holiday foods you might otherwise avoid, your body is going to react to the unhealthy ingredients by becoming bloated.


Bloat feels uncomfortable and usually signals some kind of digestive issue, but it can also impact your workouts pretty significantly.


When your stomach is distended, it means your abdominal muscles can't brace correctly like they usually do.


Having a strong and sturdy core is key to a healthy workout, and when that's compromised, you might wind up feeling pretty sore the next day.


The great news is that all these conditions are temporary, and our Los Gatos personal trainers know exactly how to coach you through the holidays without suffering an increase in pain.


Remember: having that extra slice of pie isn't a reason to give up on your workouts, but it is a reason to adjust your workouts to prevent issues.


Want to learn more about how to conquer stiffness, get out of pain, and get back to doing the things you love?


Download our Body Fix Guide and learn the exact steps you need to take to start getting results now. This will include:


  • How to prevent morning stiffness

  • Key exercises to help your sore back

  • 10 exercises you need to STOP doing

  • How to get out of knee pain

  • BONUS: How to nail your nutrition to help reduce aches and pains


Have a question? Please post your questions on our Facebook Page.


Mint Condition Fitness is the leading personal training studio in Los Gatos for successful men and women to become the best versions of themselves.

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