6 Ways Hockey Players Can Stay Fit Over Xmas

Xmas is most people’s favourite part of the year. The festive period is a time to spend with family and friends away from the grind of everyday life.

Most people set any form of fitness aside during the holidays because they think they don’t have enough time. But I am here to tell you that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time.

But what exactly should you be doing?

If you’re in your off-season

For those of you in the southern hemisphere (i.e. Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, etc), you may need to start thinking about preparation for next season which is likely starting up around March.overuse2

You shouldn’t be doing too much hockey specific training at this stage such as sprint or agility training, particularly if you have being playing indoor hockey too.

This is a major mistake that a lot of players, even coaches make. As much as you may want an advantage, I can tell you from experience that if you overdo it, it could lead to overuse injuries later.

We need to give ourselves a break from the hockey movements and counteract the imbalances that playing hockey creates. My advice is to focus on a general preparation phase which could be used to improve overall fitness levels. I would recommend a bodyweight circuit style of training or any other form of light to moderate exercise.

If you’re in the middle of your season

santa weightFor those in the northern hemisphere (i.e. Europe, USA), you have probably just finished up for the year, maybe you have even played some indoor and are on a break until Jan/Feb.

This is a great opportunity to get some recovery while also working on maintaining your strength. Strength training is an important part of becoming a great sports person, plus it will also help to prevent injury in the second half of the season.

You cannot train the same way throughout the year or you will reach burnout!

Overtraining and beating burnout is a long and slow road to recovery, of which many don’t recover from.

I am a big believer of following a season structured program over the year.

This will not only help to prevent injuries but will also help to maximise your endurance, strength, power, speed & agility on the field. If you would like to find out more we do offer a comprehensive fitness training program for hockey players.

It is VERY important for us all to take some time out and have some fun too because we don’t want to burnout, but how much is too much?

6 Ways To Stay Fit Over Xmas:

#1. Stay active:

Don’t stop exercising just because it’s xmas, you can use the festive period to mix things up and try something different. Get outside, take long walks or play a different sport. At xmas time I would often play soccer on the beach sand which can actually be quite tiring but it’s fun. If it’s snowing then go and have a snowball fight.soccer beach2

#2. Get enough sleep:

A lack of sleep can impact your choice of foods and result in putting exercise off. One late night is ok, but back to back sleepless nights can lead to hormone imbalances and weight gain. 

sleep cat

#3. Make better choices:

It is easy to make unhealthy food choices during the holidays because we are relaxed and in the holiday spirit. I am not saying that you shouldn’t enjoy yourself, but rather try to avoid going overboard. Be aware of the traps of all those yummy foods and pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth. Do you really need the whole packet of biscuits or a third helping of trifle? 


#4. Stay hydrated:

water2When you are out of your normal routine, it is easy to forget about topping up on water and staying hydrated. Aim for at least 2 litres of water per day, this will help to satisfy your appetite and help to flush out toxins in your system. You could even add some lemon or strawberries to make it more tantalising.

#5. Slow things down:

There’s not a lot more satisfying than a xmas dinner but why rush it down? I am sure there will be left overs, it’s xmas! Eat slowly and chew your food properly, that way your brain will have time to realise that you are full, meaning you are less likely to overeat.

#6. Do it early early

Depending on where you are in your season, either choose a form of exercise that is fun or if you do workout, do it early in the day. Doing it early means that you will feel great for doing it the rest of the day, plus it’s done before others try to convince that “you shouldn’t be training because it’s xmas”

Get ready for 2016

Don’t undo all your hard work over the next few weeks.

Think about it. How great would you feel if you go into 2016 feeling fit and healthy?

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About The Author

Lauren Penny

Lauren is a former International Hockey Player, Performance Coach & Mentor specialising in helping hockey players to be more confident, improve their fitness and perform more consistently to get noticed and reach higher teams.