As December comes around, Christmas party season and festive catch-ups with friends dominate our social calendars. While it’s brilliant fun at the time, it can often leave us feeling burned out by Christmas Day. Added to that, time off work gives us even more reason to throw caution to the wind and indulge a lot more than we normally would.
Finding ways to make time for fitness throughout the festive season means it’s possible to enjoy the best of both worlds this Christmas. And it makes the climb back to reality in January a whole lot easier too…
If you usually exercise in the evenings, but your diary is full of after-work social activities this December, find a way to mix up your usual routine. Head to the gym before work instead of afterwards, or blow away the cobwebs with a swim at lunchtimes instead. If you manage to do this a few times a week, you’ll feel a whole lot healthier as the month progresses.
Being off work over the Christmas period may mean getting to the gym isn’t as easy as usual, while your regular workout classes will probably be taking a break for the holidays too. Look up running or cycling routes if you’ll be staying with family in a different area. Or design an exercise routine using body weight only, which can be undertaken wherever you are.
Social occasions and family plans often mean we have less time to commit to exercise over the festive season. Don’t let this stop you. Research shows that a high-intensity 20-minute work-out can be even more beneficial than lower intensity exercise over a longer period. Online sources such as YouTube are full of inspiration.
Indulgent food is most definitely part of the festive season and you may find yourself eating sweet treats and having more tipples than usual at Christmas parties. When you’re not out and about, focus on trying to eat healthily to maintain some balance. High-protein and high-energy foods such as eggs, bananas and sweet potatoes will also give you an added boost to power through all of December’s festivities.
Indulgent foods and a little too much alcohol can make our bodies dehydrated, so pay extra attention to drinking water during the festive season. Water is a sure way to counteract some of the side-effects of festive over-indulgence. Have an occasional fruit and vegetable juice to get some additional nutrients, while drinking coconut water is great for a boost of potassium – perfect for regulating your body’s fluid balance.