Christmas is fast approaching, and as hard as many of us try, it is often a time that things get out of hand and we gain a few extra kilo’s – no matter how hard we try not to. On average, people in the UK gain about 1-2kgs over the festive period. Excessive eating is the main cause of the weight gain, however it is also due to the lack of physical and exercise.
Many tend to ease up on their fitness routines during the holidays either due to the festivities keeping them busy, or they believe that it’s the one time of the year that they deserve to take a break. However, so often in the new year, the gyms and other fitness centres are packed with fresh members, extremely eager to shed the extra kilograms or because they are part of the “new year, new me” trend that comes at the beginning of almost every new year. You can however still enjoy the holiday season and yet, stay fit at the same time.
If you are looking to stay fit and healthy during the festive season, we’ve put together a list of ideas that can assist you in doing just that.
Set realistic goals
Despite this being the time to relax and unwind after a busy year, try to set yourself exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be super motivated when you achieve it. If you plan to work out more than that, and you are not able to achieve it, you are only setting yourself up for disaster and much disappointment.
Prioritise your physical activity
If you plan on working out, try doing so in the morning especially while everyone else is sleeping. This way you will avoid anyone making remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas….” Also, if you’d prefer not to be working out over this time – try to take a brisk walk in the park, or go for a bicycle spin around the block with the children. This way, you are still spending time with the family and getting in your exercise for the day.
If you can’t find time to do exercise, try to swap simple activities for slightly more physical ones. For example, take the stair as opposed to the elevator. Park further away from the mall or shopping centre entrance. Stand when taking the train as opposed to sitting. Sit on the floor to watch TV -you’ll most likely be squirming, stretching, changing position and generally keeping your vital systems online before you even hit the first ad break.
Get out of the house
Plan outdoor activities where possible. Get the family involved and make it a festive affair. Even a rough and tumble in the backyard will cause you to burn those unwanted calories, and will more than likely keep the children entertained and boredom at bay.
Eat before leaving the house
Before you head out to visit someone, take a trip into town or go to a family gathering, it’s best to have something to eat before you leave. Doing so will remove the temptation to eat something you would not ordinarily eat, and you are less likely to overindulge since you have already filled your tummy. Also, skipping meals may seem tempting, by making yourself believe that in doing so, you can make up for the treats you consumed the previous day. Never skip on meals, as this will only cause you to eat more later.
Eat less more often
Try and split your meals throughout the day. Instead of having two enormous meals, try to have five or six smaller ones. Eat your dinner earlier and have a walk under the moonlight before going to bed.
Select your treats wisely
When being offered delicious treats, try to minimise how often, and what you choose to go for. Don’t engorge on items you can enjoy year-round, but rather go for something that is only available during the holiday season. And even when you do, don’t go mad and limit yourself as best possible.
Drink in moderation
We all enjoy a festive drink here and there, however, it’s best to regulate your alcohol, fizzy cold drink and other juice intake, as these will only add to the calories you’re trying so hard not to gain from the festive eating.
Drink that water
We know how hard it is to drink water when there are so many tasty alternatives over the festive season, but it really is important. Not only will it assist at keeping you fuller, and therefore less tempted to take another treat, but it will keep you hydrated too. It will further assist the body in cleansing the digestive system and preventing bloating, but it is great in preventing a possible hangover if you do happen to overdo it with the alcohol.
Remember to enjoy yourself
Whilst the above tips are there to ensure that you don’t overindulge, and you increase your physical activity during a time when most want to relax – you need to remember to enjoy yourself. Do not deny yourself that treat each and every occasion, and take the necessary time to relax where possible. Remember, everything in moderation, and this is supposed to be the best time of the year.