For many people, maintaining a healthy diet and sticking to an exercise programme can be challenging at the best of times, but Christmas is probably the hardest time of the year to remain focussed on your health and fitness goals.
The constant temptations of rich, festive fare, alcohol, the sofa and a “well it’s only once a year” mentality can wreak havoc on the best intentions. Luckily, we can help you with this! Detailed below are our five top tips for enjoying the holiday season whilst easily resisting its more outrageous excesses.
Ask for a Personal Programme
Closed fitness facilities and increased leisure time can mean health and fitness becomes harder to maintain. Address this by asking your personal trainer or gym instructor for an individualised fitness programme to follow over the festive period at home.
Vary Your Workout
If you’ve been plodding along at the gym doing twenty minutes of cardio and a few crunches for the past few months, it’s time for a change! Treat yourself to an early Christmas present of a new gym programme. Vary the intensity and duration of the cardio element to improve your fitness levels. Ask your gym instructor to show you how to progress each of your static exercises to the next level. Try a different exercise class or activity. Make December rather than January the month when you really strive to achieve.
Confine Feasting to Christmas Day
The month of December is about one twelfth of the year, which is an enormous amount of time to be disengaged from a sensible fitness routine. Keep your normal good habits going until Christmas Day and then feel free to indulge moderately without guilt.
Stay Active on the Day
Try and get up fifteen minutes earlier to undertake a small amount of exercise to get the day off to a good start. Take time to do your personalised programme, if you have one.
Sadly, the post-dinner walk has almost universally been replaced by the post-dinner movie! Take a pleasant stroll down to the local park or beauty spot. If you have children, invite them to go with you to try out their new bikes and let off some steam. Take a ball along for an impromptu game of tag or football. Both are great ways to burn calories and get your heart rate up. If it’s raining, try a game of Twister or dancing.
Indulge in Christmas Treats!
Many traditional Christmas treats are good, clean foods which are packed full of nutritional value. Ditch mince pies and Christmas pudding in favour of dates, tangerines, nuts and russet apples. A serving of lean turkey with a selection of fresh vegetables is an excellent, tasty dinner choice.
Excess over the festive period is almost always followed by despondency after the post-holiday weigh-in and belated return to the gym. By following these five tips to help maintain a sensible exercise regime and make good food choices, Christmas will be a cause for celebration rather than regret.
Have you got any great tips for surviving the Holiday Season the healthy way? Share them in the comments below.