Staying fit over Christmas

Admit it, who doesn’t love the opportunity to indulge in delicious food, the odd drink or two…or three and kick back in front of the TV over Christmas? After all, Christmas in the most wonderful time of the year, right?

Whether you have headed home to see family, are catching up with friends or have plans to paint the town red to ring in the New Year, the festive period is full of temptation after temptation which can lead to even the most avid gym bunny and health conscious devotee falling off the wagon.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few top tips to keep your fitness on track over the festive period.

  • Set aside at least 15 minutes of training everyday – this could include walking, yoga, HIIT, anything really! If you’re struggling to fit in your usual workouts, even just a few minutes can boost your metabolism and leave your feeling energised. Dust off the bikes or get the family out for a walk with you in the fresh air and you’ll easily smash your daily target.
  • Find a friend who will support you with maintaining your fitness. You can be a great support to each other, even when it’s cold and windy outside and going for a run is the last thing you feel like doing. Or schedule your workouts at a time that suits you both, you’ll be far less likely to skip the gym if someone is relying on you to show up.
  • Set challenges with friends and family, this could include sit ups or ‘plank-offs’. Set a goal for everyone to work towards e.g. “by the end of Christmas I’ll be able to do 50 sit ups” or, “I’ll be able to hold the plank position for 4 minutes”.
  • Be flexible with your training schedule. If your usual gym routine feels unrealistic over Christmas then adapt it to suit the time you have available. Remember, even a short workout is better than skipping it all together. If you are short on time, why not try one full body weights session and a treadmill based hill sprints session per week?
  • With your social calendar busier than ever, why not kill two birds with one stone and plan to see friends for fitness related catch-ups? It’ll be a nice change from the pub and you could even reward yourself with brunch after.
  • HIIT training is your friend. When you are looking to get the most bang for your buck from your workouts, look no further than HIIT training. Fitting in a quick 10 – 15 minutes session per day will work wonders for maintaining your fitness and can even be done in your living room if you’re struggling to make it to the gym.
  • Stay motivated. Christmas is notoriously difficult to the keep up your momentum when it comes to health and fitness but setting a sporting goal can really help you to focus and keep active. For example, booking a 10km run in January will force you to train over the Christmas period and maintain a healthier regime over Christmas. You could even rope in friends and family and train together if you look for events such as fun runs in your local area.
  • Plan your workouts carefully. Planning a workout for the morning after a Christmas or New Year’s Eve party is a great way to remain focussed and not overdo things. Think how good you’ll feel the next day having avoided a hangover too!

Making a conscious plan ahead of all the festivities will help you to stay on track with your exercise routine. Set yourself a realistic goal, e.g. to workout three times per week and allow for some flexibility in your usual schedule and fitness routine so you are able to achieve this. You will be glad of the discipline come January and you aren’t faced with a huge struggle to regain your fitness after the festive period.