“Because it’s Christmas”… How many times have we all said this as our hand delves into the Quality Street tin?
Let’s face it, after the year we’ve had we all need to let our hair down and have fun this festive period. It’s a great time to treat yourself and take some well deserved R&R, but make sure you don’t lose sight of your overall goals. If you’ve been spending months working on improving your health or are feeling motivated to get started on a new routine, it would be a real shame to undo the progress you have made.
No one wants to be stressing about dieting or feeling guilty about still being in their PJs at 2pm. If, like those 3 kings associated with Christmas, we can be wise and make some conscious choices this Christmas our fitness levels can be maintained or even improved, making that first gym session of 2021 so much easier.
Here are our 12 top tips to being merry, healthy and wise this Christmas.
Adapt your usual training routine
This way you won’t make promises to yourself you won’t keep and will continue to feel motivated to stick to your more flexible routine. If you usually workout 3 times a week, maybe switch up the kind of training you do on one of those days so you can schedule it around family gatherings and online events.
Get everyone involved
Get moving together! Schedule a long walk and catch up with friends or relatives on the phone or in person. Go for a boxing day (or the day after) walk or run with your partner to brush off the sluggishness of Christmas day and enjoy the crisp, fresh winter air.
Take the time
Try and set aside 15 minutes a day to move, especially on days you’re not getting in a gym session. A short online workout, brisk walk or quick set of 20 reps (say pushups, squats and situps) first thing in the morning or during a work break to raise your heart rate regularly, helping keep your mind healthy.
Don’t restrain yourself from eating the food you love at Christmas, it’s a celebration and you deserve to enjoy yourself and have a treat. But to add to the treat factor, you could be selective and choose something only available at this time of the year like mince pies or Christmas pudding, rather than treats that are always available, and enjoy!
Drink plenty of water. Not only is hydration vital to help manage those dreaded hangovers but it also helps your digestion, especially important at a time where you’ll be enjoying a wider variety of treats and keeping warm with drying indoor heating.
Get in a good breakfast. Speaking of hangovers, a healthy and balanced breakfast will help you recover and pack in some much-needed nutrients after a fun night in. If you’re after a warm breakfast try some porridge or an omelette. If that doesn’t take your fancy, how about some natural yoghurt and fruit?
Choose your tipples wisely. You might want to take a break from alcohol or cut down a bit if you’ve been drinking more than usual this year, and no one likes a hangover anyway. Why not try a wine spritzer for something lighter or experiment with mocktails? You could challenge your friends to an online mocktail making night or create a DIY ‘me time’ Christmas gift with a recipe and bath bomb for a loved one that deserves it.
Recipes from Alcohol Chance UK
Have some ‘me-time’
Kick back a little. Christmas and the run-up to the main event can be hugely stressful with a lot of planning so it’s important for both our mental and physical well-being to take time out. Eat leftover turkey, check. Playing a board game, check. Snooze on the sofa, check. Do what makes you feel happy and relaxed.
Get plenty of Zs. Sleep is essential for our mind and body, helping us to rest and recover from whatever life throws at us. Getting plenty of sleep also helps keep the stress hormone cortisol in check which should help your body recover from any exercise you do fit in, and help you feel zen about all that pre-Christmas prep.
Play some games
Spend quality time having fun as a family that gets you up off the sofa. Video games like Just Dance, Wii Sports or Ring Fit Adventure will have you showing off your best moves, whilst even good old fashioned charades will have you jumping up and down or flailing about. Exercise that doesn’t feel like working out will leave you feeling refreshed and stress-free, genius!
Don’t forget the vegetables
Fill up on veggies. Loading your plate with greens is an easy way to reduce the impact of a proper Christmas sugar crash while reducing hunger later on in the day. This tip is also a double whammy as you will cram in plenty of essential vitamins and minerals, vital for maintaining a healthy immune system which can come under attack at this time of year.
Finally, just keep it fun. Take part in our 25 days of fitness challenge, enjoy Christmas and maintain the level of balance that’s right for you.