We all know that it can be easy to over indulge at Christmas. Many of us will be left with feelings of guilt and the need to diet and exercise excessively once January comes, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Here are my 5 top tips on staying healthy over the Christmas period.
1. Set realistic goals
I’m going to start this by saying that I know it’s not easy to keep up a workout routine over the Christmas period. However that doesn’t mean it has to stop all together. Try to set yourself some realistic goals of what you will actually be able to achieve around the plans that you have. If you don’t have time for your usual gym workout are you able to fit in a 15-20 minute HIIT workout at home, or can you incorporate a brisk walk into your day? You might even enjoy a break from your usual routine and trying something different. Who knows you may be able to encourage friends and family to stay active too.
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2. Know when your full
Do you really need another trip to the Boxing Day buffet table? Or are you just eating it because it’s there and ‘It is Christmas after all’. It’s so easy to eat mindlessly over Christmas because there is endless food on offer wherever you go but try to be mindful of what you’re consuming. The type of food we eat at Christmas is often a far cry from what we eat on a day to day basis and can not only contribute to excessive calories but can wreak havoc with our digestion. Try to eat sensible sized portions and regular meals to keep an element of normality to your diet.
3. Think before you drink
It can be easy to get caught up in all day drinking and not realise the units and calories you might have consumed even before lunchtime! A bucks fizz here, a mulled wine there and joining Nan in a little sherry. For many of us we’re not used to this and won’t feel great for it. If you are going to be drinking then try to drink a glass of water between each drink. Keeping up a good water intake will help to keep hydrated, aid digestion and ward of some of those lethargic feelings that will come after eating, drinking and entertaining all day. This is also a great habit to get into whenever you’re drinking.
4. Don’t stress
Planning for Christmas can be stressful, especially if you’re planning on playing the perfect host. However try not to stress too much, your body won’t thank you for it and you won’t be able to fully enjoy the time with friends and family. Remember that not everything needs to be perfect and the most important thing is spending quality time with the people closest to you. If you feel overwhelmed take a minute for yourself, step away from everything to somewhere quiet, take some deep breaths and clear your mind. And if that sort of thing doesn’t work for you then try taking yourself off for a mini cardio session. A few quick star jumps, running on the spot, high knees and squats will take your mind off everything and get some endorphin's flowing!
5. Keep your mind active
It’s easy to sit in front of the TV all day, and sometimes we all need a day like that to unwind and relax. But there are other ways to unwind that will help keep your mind active and maybe even your body. Playing games can be a great way to spend time with family and keep your mind active. Some of my favourites are charades, heads up and trivial pursuit. Games like charades and heads up can be fun for all ages in the family and involve a good balance of thinking and moving around. Give it a try!
I hope that you have a fantastic Christmas and wish you all a Happy New Year. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram or Facebook for more tips and workout ideas.