December is a time for eating, drinking and being merry as the festive season draws in.
This also means the holiday period is notoriously difficult for our healthy eating habits and exercise regimes.
Lets think about Christmas…
Many people abandon fitness and workouts during the Christmas period (or even December as a whole). Staying active over Christmas not only reduces your chances of gaining weight, it also helps energise you, reduces stress and gives you a break.
Exercising first thing may entail getting up a little earlier than normal, but it does ensure that you get your workout done before other commitments and crises get in the way – and it will kickstart your metabolism for the rest of the day.
Workouts don’t need to be long to be beneficial. If you’re prepared to work hard, you can fit a super workout into just a 30-minute window. It’s a trade-off between duration and intensity. Any workout or activity is better than none at all.
A few ideas
Go for a walk – either for a little headspace or with family and visitors
Indoor active video games – Wii Fit, Ring fit Adventure and Zumba
Walk your dog
Go for a pre-Christmas dinner run
A group activity – twister? Or even a ball game outside?
Try an online search for inspiration. If you are socialising on Christmas Day, mix the socialising with something active
On Christmas Day – what time should I be active?
Moderate to intense exercise – try this early on in the day, before Christmas food occurs. This will kickstart your metabolism for the day and you will get the positive boost knowing you have exercised.
Light exercise – try this after you have eaten: Research shows that post-prandial exercise attenuates the glycaemic effect of food, minimising blood sugar spikes and dips and reducing the likelihood of further snacking later on. Gentle after-dinner activity also helps to support digestion a lot more than nodding off in an armchair does …
I am not here to preach! I love my food too…
Do not feel pressured to eat more than you would normally
Do not skip breakfast, it will likely push you towards snacking and it will likely cause your blood sugars to not be level
Have non-alcoholic drinks as breaks during the day
And if you do over indulge
The University of Oklahoma, which found that the average festive weight gain was little over 1lb (surveys show that most of us feel that we gain a lot more than that). “It’s worth bearing in mind that it’s not the amount you exercise and eat between Christmas and New Year that is the problem – it’s what you do between New Year and Christmas that makes the real difference,”