How to stay ship shape this Christmas

Published on LEUT Lauren Rago (author), ABIS Kayla Hayes (photographer)

Physical Training Instructor Leading Seaman Callan McDonald demonstrates a 'squat clean and jerk' at the Navy Indoor Sports Centre, Garden Island, Sydney. (photo: ABIS Kayla Hayes)
Physical Training Instructor Leading Seaman Callan McDonald demonstrates a 'squat clean and jerk' at the Navy Indoor Sports Centre, Garden Island, Sydney.

The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Physical Training Instructors at Fleet Base East, Sydney have given readers some advice on how to stay ‘ship shape’ during the Christmas and New Year holiday this year.
 
Leading Seaman Callan McDonald said the key factors to remember during the festive season are eating clean, leading an active lifestyle and staying hydrated.
 
“Clean eating means limiting processed foods, enjoying fresh food such as lean meat, vegetables, nuts, some fruit, a little starch (bread, rice, wheat and pasta), no sugar and switch soft drinks for water.
 
“Make the most of the delicious, fresh produce that is available at this time of year. There are also plenty of healthy versions of the traditional Christmas meals available free online,” said LS McDonald.
 
“Another trick is to ensure you plan for, and pre-prepare, your meals in advance so you’re not tempted to deviate too much.

Physical Training Instructor Leading Seaman Callan McDonald at the Navy Indoor Sports Centre, Garden Island, Sydney.

Physical Training Instructor Leading Seaman Callan McDonald at the Navy Indoor Sports Centre, Garden Island, Sydney.


 
“Feel empowered that you can say no to that huge serve of ice cream - not that you missed out rather that you will wake up tomorrow and feel closer to your goal.”
 
“Of course people may indulge on Christmas day and during special events. If you enjoy some treats, the key is to balance it out - it’s all about the calories in and the calories out.
 
“Importantly, to stay really healthy limit alcohol intake and stay hydrated, particulary during the hotter weather.
 
When it comes to exercise, LS McDonald said the simple advice is to ditch the couch and get moving.
 
“If you’re on holidays and don’t have access to your gym for a couple of days, that is no excuse. Go for a bush walk or around the neighbourhood. Go for a bike ride or hit the beach. Get on top of the handy jobs around the house.
 
“Give the kids gifts that keep them moving such as sporting equipment, outside games or toys instead of say video games and take them outside to play with them.
 
“Think about giving family and friends gifts that aren’t sugar or fat laden. When visiting someone, how about a taking a fruit platter instead of a box of chocolates,” said LS McDonald.
 
LS McDonald also said to continue your daily training sessions, upping the intensity.
 
“Instead of exercising for an hour, do a shorter intense 20 minute session employing full body movements such as squats, push ups, sit ups and burpees. Make sure you always have a good warm up and stretch on completion.
 
“Again you can also do these at home as they do not require any gym equipment. Just make sure you push yourself and that the session is intense.”
 
Advice for getting back to normal routine in the New Year is all about goals.
 
“Set yourself goals whether it is to increase strength, decrease run time or decrease your waist size. Be true to yourself and don’t deviate from your goals.
 
“Consistency is king. You can do it.”
 
Physical fitness is a major part of Service life and is one of the key elements required for military personnel to conduct any task they have been trained for or called upon to deliver.
 
A fit person is able to maintain efficiency, adaptability and endurance at all times whether it be during day-to-day tasks or under more arduous conditions such as those on operations or during major exercises.
 
Defence members’ professional and personal fitness goals are catered for by gyms and fitness classes at each major RAN establishment and onboard most ships, personalised advice from Physical Trainers and participation in a wide range of sporting teams.