Getting back to fitness in the new year

fitness 2019 dubai

Managing the New Year and your new goals

The year-end festive period is notoriously busy with family, friends and loved ones. However this time fo the year is even more notorious for being a nutritional and training car crash with an extreme overindulgence of mince pies, sugary beverages and all manner of good food! And every mouthful is worth it! However, the leniency that we allow ourselves in December is always shadowed by very firm and extreme New year’s resolutions, drastic nutritional changes and intense exercise regimes.

Here lies the first mistake that most people make come the first of January. Drastic changes in nutritional and training plans are great to kick start weight loss, and the concept of ‘being healthy’. However, these changes are very rarely sustainable, or even enjoyable! No one likes turning down their evening chocolate, or passing up on social occasions, or dragging themselves to the gym every morning at 5am.

My advice:

When it comes to exercise, resistance training and cardiovascular work outs are not the only way to burn calories and reach your goals (all though they are very effective). Try and plan fun outdoor activities in addition to your exercises classes, gym sessions or personal training sessions. Including activities that will keep exercise fun, challenging and much more sustainable in the long run.

If you are a weekend warrior and are training for an event in the near future, then your training has probably been sporadic over the festive period. Try and recreate your previous routine, but don’t expect the same performance just yet. It may take your body a week or two to shake of the cobwebs, so be patient! Building up to your pre-Christmas fitness takes some time and trying to push as hard or lift as heavy will only make the mountain seem higher.

When it comes to nutrition make smaller sensible changes to your diet that will be beneficial but more importantly, sustainable. Your goal shouldn’t be to get instant results but more importantly to have a long term, ‘way of life’ to maintain over the next year rather than the next 3 weeks.

Global energy expenditure is another major player in our ability to get back on track. In the middle east, we are blessed with great weather, particularly during the winter months. Make the most of this time. Go to the beach, take long walks appreciate the wanders that the UAE & Dubai has to offer. Simply by walking around and being generally more active we can make some very positive changes to our fitness and life style goals.

My final point is to ask for help if you need it. If you’re not sure how to tackle your new fitness or health goals ask a professional, get an action plan that fits your current work, social and active life! If you need advice you can reach me at

Take home messages:

  • Attainable and manageable goals
  • Quality over quantity training
  • Global energy expenditure
  • Enjoy the journey

About the author

Justin Walsh is a Strength  & Conditioning Coach and Sports Massage Therapist at UPANDRUNNING.

Born and raised in Dubai, Justin and has always been actively involved in both competitive and recreational sports. As an athlete participating in a range of sports, and with a few injuries as proof, Justin realized his passion for helping others get back to their previous level of activity, and feel good about it! While completing his degree in Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Exeter in the UK he worked alongside the Exeter Chiefs RFC as a Strength and conditioning coach as well as a sport scientist, implementing exercise intensity domains for their field based training. Justin holds further qualifications in various soft tissue techniques (Massage, Trigger-point therapy, IASTM), which he uses in cohesion with his strength and conditioning work. He is experienced in working with a clientele of all ages, including post-surgical, chronic/overuse injury patients to professional athletes in both a performance and clinical setting.

Justin Walsh UPANRUNNING dubai

When it comes to nutrition make smaller sensible changes to your diet that will be beneficial but more importantly, sustainable.
Justin Walsh, Sports Massage Therapist & Strength & Conditioning Coach