If you’re someone who enjoys eating healthily and focusing on fitness, Christmas might be a bit of a conflicting time for you. We all want to indulge in that turkey dinner (or meat-free alternative) with all the trimmings, but how can we do that without ruining all our hard work? Well, we’ve got a handy set of tips to help you stay fit over Christmas.
1. Keep up the exercise
Whatever exercise you do regularly, try not to let that falter over the Christmas period. You might not be able to go to your local gym, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fit in some at home workouts, or a long walk whilst the meat cooks. If you’re a cycler or jogger, then you can definitely get in some decent workouts in across the Christmas period!
One of the best ways to do this is to get up a little earlier and fit a cheeky workout in before your day starts, whether you’re heading off to work or going for some Christmas drinks, you’ll feel much better after a bit of exercise. Plus, it stops you from falling out the routine, and that prevents getting back into exercise in January from being quite so hard.
2. Don’t miss out
Just because you’re trying to stay on track with health and fitness, it doesn’t mean you should avoid all of your favourite Christmas treats! If you keep dodging the joys of December, eventually you will break and overindulge in all the candy, alcohol and cheese that you’ve been hiding from. That’s not ideal and is exactly what we’re trying to avoid. So enjoy the festive period and indulge in moderation.
3. Balanced diet
Keeping a balanced diet at Christmas may sound impossible, but it isn’t as hard as it seems! You just need to make sure you’re still getting that fruit, veg, fibre and protein. All this means is maybe chugging a few good yoghurts (try Activia or something similar) in the mornings, and keeping on top of your five-a-day. You can even supplement this with a multivitamin, which will not only help battle any illnesses that come from all the socialising, but it will help keep your energy levels up too.
4. Try out some weights
If you’re eating more than usual (which, let’s be honest, is likely) then try out some bigger weights than you usually do. Or, if cardio is normally the extent of your workout, add in some weights. This will burn off some of the calories quicker, and will help you bulk out, too. Put the food to good use!
5. Use the winter weather to your advantage
You might not be able to go wild swimming as the temperatures plummet, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising out and about! Make the most of the winter weather and festivities and take yourself out to do some winter sports. You can pop to the local ice rink and do a few speedy laps. You could even take friends along and make it a festive experience.
6. Stay hydrated
Given that many of us are likely to ingest more mulled wine than water in December, one of the most important things to do to stay fit over Christmas is to keep yourself hydrated. For every drink you have, take a break and have some water. Make sure you have a big glass before bed and when you wake up, too. This helps to keep your energy up and prevents you from getting (as) hungover, thus, you’re more likely to be able to exercise around the festive season.
7. Be realistic
Most importantly, don’t expect yourself to continue to lose two pounds a week as we approach Christmas. It’s unlikely that your goals for the rest of the year will be as reachable during the festive season, and that’s okay. Just do your best, but make sure you enjoy yourself. You only live once, and anything you do eat or drink over Christmas is only temporary. You can still get back on the horse from January onwards!
8. Be kind to yourself
The most important part of staying healthy is keeping you mind healthy. So even if you do eat or drink more than you would normally, or exercise less than usual, don’t punish yourself. The festive period – and any time for that matter – is all about spreading joy and celebrating – and that means celebrating yourself too! So if you feel yourself panicking about diet and exercise, try some gentle and restorative meditation to keep your mind healthy.
The Christmas period is here once a year so make sure you make the most of it! There’s plenty of ways to stay fit over Christmas, without missing out on the celebrations. So why not start with carving out some time to sit down, relax and enjoy some Christmas films to get in the mood!