How to not let all your hard work go to waste over Christmas

How to keep your fitness up over Christmas

With only days until Christmas Day, many people have started the frantic push to trim down in preparation for the season known for excess. There are ways and means of making sure all that hard work in (and out!) the gym doesn’t go to waste.

How do I resist the festive treats?

From chocolates and mince pies to sherry and trifle, the festive season is often a time for indulgence. The main point here is that they are TREATS, the definition of treat is:

Treat (noun) – An event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure

Out of the “ordinary”… That means we shouldn’t be having it all the time… If it’s a regular occurrence, it is no longer a treat, it’s just a lot of excess!

Keeping this in mind is the key to resisting temptation, go on – treat yourself, have a taste of whatever it is you fancy, but don’t overdo it. If you’re lucky enough to have an advent calendar, let that be your sweet treat for the day in the lead up to Christmas and on Christmas morning itself, but don’t forget to have breakfast! I know it’s easy to get carried away in the joy of Christmas morning, seeing what has been left by Santa, but by eating a nutritious breakfast you’re less likely to overindulge on snacks throughout the day.

Hints for the dinner table:

  • Start with the veg and protein – Fill up on that and you can enjoy the extras without overdoing it.
  • Don’t go back for seconds – It’s not something you’d do at any other time of year.
  • Drink – Drink lots of water alongside any alcohol.
  • Set out some healthier nibbles – Satsumas, dried fruit and chestnuts rather than chocolates and crisps.

My fitness is high and I don’t want to lose it

You’ve been working so hard on improving your fitness levels, and it can be a daunting thought of it all going to waste. Although some people have worked out for entirely this purpose – so they can indulge – and that’s fine! I’m more of an advocate for lifelong fitness rather than for a special event but if that’s what you want to do then good for you. Here are a few tips on not letting your fitness levels slide too much over the festive season, the key is to maintain rather than try to beat any personal bests or improve your fitness unless you have an event planned for early in the new year and you know you’ll be totally strict with your regime.

Fitness tips:

  • Move regularly – Don’t just chill out in front of the TV, get up and move; play some games, get some fresh air or have a dance.
  • Set a challenge over the festive period – Want to manage 10 push ups by the end of the Christmas break?
  • Adapt – You’ve done amazingly well maintaining your 3 times a week fitness routine but you know that with all the family commitments that it’s going to be hard to keep that up. Don’t worry – just set aside a small amount of time and make it count. HIIT training is a fantastic way of getting a short sharp boost.
  • Sign up for an event in the new year – Fancy doing a 10K run?… Knowing that you have something to aim for is more likely to keep you on track.
  • Plan your workouts – Just like you put the social events in the calendar, put your fitness in there too.
  • Get your family involved – A family walk on Christmas morning, jog alongside as your children try out their new bikes, alongside your dog with his new frisbee, or wrap up warm and play a ball game at the park.
  • Workout early – Do you honestly think you’ll have time for it once everyone is up and about and the festivities have started?
  • Use what you have – You may not have time to get to the gym but you can make the most of what you have at home; use the kitchen counter and dining chairs as props in your workout.
  • Get into the Winter spirit – Why not try your hand at ice-skating?
  • Play some interactive games – Computer games like WiiFit get you moving, and are great family fun!
  • Remember: Something is better than nothing!

Above all, enjoy the time with your friends and family and if you do fall off the bandwagon, be sure to jump straight back on!