For many of us, the onset of the festive season means a significant ramp up of Christmas parties and social events. Commonly overindulgence in food and alcohol at this time of the year, results in our health and fitness routines being paused, disrupted, or even thrown out the window! While it’s certainly a good time of the year to allow yourself to unwind and take a break, we want to make sure that we don’t undo to much of the good work that we have done over the year with diet and exercise. Here are a few tips to make sure that you can still hit the ground running in January.
1. Keep Moving!
For many, our exercise routine is just that, a routine and when interrupted, it’s easy to stop exercising all together. The age old adage ‘You it or loose it’ is very true and strength and fitness can start to slide quickly, but thankfully it really doesn’t take a huge amount of intense exercise to minimise the decline. Remember, anything is better than nothing and even quite moderate amounts of reasonably gentle exercise can be quite helpful. Set some realistic movement goal. Be realistic but try to set some attainable goals and plans for movement over the break.
2. Make use of your mornings.
If you don’t have to get up and rush off to work, try to get into the habit of going for a walk or even a run in the morning. We are privileged to live in such a beautiful part of the world, get out there and enjoy it!
3. Make some of your social catch ups active.
Whether it’s a bush walk or playing at the beach, adding some activity and movement to your social catch ups, rather than just catching up for lunch at a café is a great way to add movement to your Christmas break.
4. Consider some HIT training.
Exercise does not have to take up too much of your time. You can smash out a few 20 minute High Intensity Training (HIT) sessions in the morning over the week, leaving you the rest of the day to spend time with friends and family or just relax.
5. Be a kid!
You know who doesn’t appear to gain much weight at Christmas? Children. Why? Because they are often spending so much time running around and playing while the adults are eating and drinking. Whether its jumping on the trampoline, kicking the football, playing cricket, joining in a water fight or just running around after them, 20-30 mins of intense (or moderate) playing can be a great way of keeping fit and keeping the kids happy in the meantime!
6. Try intermittent Fasting.
Much has been studied and written about the health benefits of intermittent fasting. If you have overindulged again at the latest Christmas party, why not try fasting for a period the following day. While this should certainly not be seen as a green light to overindulge, it can help to offset some of the excessive calorie intake on other days. Importantly, fasting prior to attending a function is probably not the best idea as hitting a gathering with loads of tasty treats and snacks to temp you on an empty stomach often ends badly!
7. Fill up on some healthy food.
If attending a function, drink plenty of water and fill up on some healthy food to satiate your appetite before hitting the snacks
8. Drink in moderation.
Alcohol over the Christmas period can be the Achilles heel for many of us. Generally, overindulgence in alcohol goes hand in hand with overindulgence in food and often a decrease in activity the following day. Trying to limit the amount that you drink can only have good benefits but is not always easy. Try putting off your first drink for a while and play with the kids. Add some waters in between drinks over the day, it’s a great way of slowing your alcohol intake and often helps to satiate your appetite at the same time.
Wishing everyone a fantastic time over the break. Have fun and allow yourself to let loose a little but plan a few little changes that can keep you In balance for the year ahead!! Merry Christmas.