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How To Stay On Top Of Your Health And Fitness This Christmas

Can you believe it? That time of year is here. Again. It seems like only yesterday we were putting up Christmas trees and singing carols. And eating mince pieces, of course.

‘Normal life’ takes a back seat whilst you’re busy catching up with family and friends over Christmas. When you have time off work, routines are easily disrupted and you’ve got the freedom to choose what you do with your day. Sounds like a dream come true, right? Unfortunately, many people go back to work in January with a thump. Root cause: a combination of inactivity and poor diet during the festive period.

Luckily for you, we can help. Here are our top 8 tips to stay on top of your health and fitness this Christmas without missing out on the fun.

  • Keep exercising. It may be hard to get to the gym during the festivities, so it’s important to keep moving – try walking, running and even at home workouts. We recommend high intensity interval (HIIT) workouts, which are short bursts of intense exercise which work great for burning those extra calories (YouTube is your friend for this, people). Low impact exercise can help too – a gentle walk after a meal can help ease digestion and stop you feeling sluggish. It’s easy to feel stuck at home during Christmas, so they’re a great way of getting out of the house when all the shops are closed.
  • Plan your meals. You won’t always know what’s on the menu when you’re going to a meal or party, but you can control the choices you make at home. Plan your meals as much as possible so you stay on track – if you know you’re going to have a big family meal in the evening, have a light, healthy lunch. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables at home as you may not be thinking about this later. The aim is to find a balance between healthy and unhealthy food so you can enjoy yourself without feeling guilty.
  • Keep an eye on your food shop. In the run up to Christmas, many supermarkets offer tempting buy one get one free and half price offers on cakes, biscuits, crisps and alcohol. When it’s such a great deal you can convince yourself to buy some ‘just in case’. But with these offers starting to appear in November, Christmas can last several weeks, so stay away and keep them out of your trolley.
  • Watch out for liquid calories. Alcoholic drinks can be high in calories, so be mindful. Beer contains up to 200 calories per pint, so switch to light beer or lower calorie spirits – tequila is a good alternative 🙂 If you’re drinking spirits, opt for diet drinks as a mixer to keep the calorie count down. You can also alternate your drinks with some non alcoholic drinks, or water, in between. Don’t let yourself be pressured into drinking more than you’d like – try saying ‘I’ll have some later’ or sip on drinks slower to make them last longer.
  • Limit certain food at parties. Parties are a minefield for poor food so stay away from deep fried snacks which are unhealthy, not very filling, and always high in calories. Opt for healthier options (carrot sticks and hummus, anyone?) You tend to eat more carelessly whilst you are socialising, so be aware of eating just because it’s there – only eat something if you really want to eat it. Know your weak points, so if you have a sweet tooth, give yourself a limit of one dessert per outing, and trust us, you’ll enjoy it more that way.
  • Have Christmas day off (but go back to normal the next day). Christmas is your day off. Ditch any guilt and just allow yourself to enjoy the day – eat, drink, and be merry. One day isn’t going to harm your health and fitness drastically, but you need to make sure you get back to normal as soon as possible. There’s likely to be remnants of Christmas in your house – biscuits, chocolates, snacks etc – so give these away to the homeless, family members or if there’s no other option, throw them away. Your body will thank you for it in January.
  • This one is simple, don’t forget to drink water. When you’re caught up in Christmas it’s tempting to ditch water completely and pick more exciting drinks. But, drinking water will help with feelings of dehydration and lethargy, so it’s important not to skip it. An added bonus is that it can even make you feel more full so you eat less, and can help with hangovers too. Long story short – don’t skimp on the old H20.
  • Find an ally. Chances are you’re not the only one that wants to stay fit and healthy during this time. Find someone in your friend or family circle with similar goals to you and team up with them. Have a discussion before parties and meals about your strategies to stay healthy and make better choices. With someone by your side, you’ll be able to encourage and motivate each other to keep going. You got this.

Conclusion

It’s true what they say – Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. For a lot of families, it’s the only chance they get to be together and enjoy delicious food and drink. Allow yourself to enjoy the festivities but make sure you keep the balance. Our tips on how to stay on top of your health and fitness this Christmas can help – whether it’s finding an ally, going for walks after big meals or saying no to those spring rolls, you’ll be able to find something that works for you. The best thing – you’ll be able to go into January excited and motivated to smash your health and fitness goals for the coming year, and ditch the guilt. Happy holidays!

About me

I’m Ravi – a qualified personal trainer and fitness blogger, who teaches people how to transform their bodies and lives through fitness and nutrition. I’m also the CEO of Sports Samurai, an online store selling high quality gym bags and backpacks – you don’t want to miss these, so click the link. Feel free to like us on Facebook here for more articles, tips, and product information.

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