How to stay fit over Christmas

Most people tend to gain weight over the festive season and will put their fitness routine on the backburner until the New Year. The British population will consume a shocking 10,000 mince pies a minute over Christmas and 1,240 Christmas puddings will be eaten every minute.  Staying active will limit the damage done by excessive eating and drinking, and will make the transition back into the gym in January that much easier.

Stick to a fitness routine
When you are very busy, tasks get prioritised and the least important ones often fall off of your list. Exercise often being one of them and going to the gym gets put on the backburner when your social life gets hectic. If one of your fitness goals is muscle mass then you don’t want to completely give up strength training and lifting weights can burn just as many calories. Even if you go to the gym just once a week in December it is better than giving it up all together and you are still keeping fit.

Give yourself an energy boost
The festive season is one of the busiest times of the year with Christmas parties, socialising with friends and family, baking and cooking, and Christmas shopping. All of the celebrations often mean lots of food and alcohol will be consumed, and consequentially quite a few hangovers will occur. With 15,000 units of alcohol being consumed by Brits during the height of the festive season, a workout is the best way to get rid of over-indulgence guilt and keep you energised. Physical activity releases the production of endorphins, which minimises your stress levels, keeps you happy and productive.

Eat before heading out
Over-indulging and snacking are very easily done during the holidays, you pop over to a family members house and suddenly a massive box of biscuits is placed in front of you. It can be very difficult to resist the temptation of lots of sweet treats… If you eat something before you head out for Christmas visits then you will be less tempted to eat vast amounts of food and you won’t be as hungry. We also recommend never going food shopping whilst you are hungry as you will end up with the whole Christmas food aisle in your kitchen. Skipping meals can also be dangerous as you end up hungrier and will eat twice the amount.

Drink lots of water
Water may not be at the top of your to-drink list during the holidays, but if you are overdoing it on the booze front then it is even more important to stay hydrated. Drinking water is essential for maintaining the balance of bodily fluids, which include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients and maintenance of body temperature. If you are slightly forgetful on the water front, you could put a reminder on your phone to have a glass every hour. The Christmas period can be quite draining and drinking water can help increase energy, relieve fatigue and improve skin complexion.

Avoid sitting for long periods of time
Christmas holidays are so busy that when you aren’t running around like a headless chicken, you become a little bit of a couch potato. Sitting down too much can be dangerous for your health and can slow down your metabolism which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat. Chief Medical Officers recommend breaking up long periods of sitting time with shorter bouts of activity for just one to two minutes. If you are sat watching a film, try moving about every now and again to keep active.

Go for a food break walk
There is no avoiding the high quantities of food, however, you can keep fit by taking walking breaks in between courses and help reduce your cravings by doing so. A nice brisk walk around the block will get you breathing in the fresh air, improving your mood and likeliness to over indulge. If the whole family pops out for the walk too, then it will be more enjoyable and festive.

Try high-intensity interval training
If you are strapped for time, High-Intensity Interval Training will be perfect for getting in your daily workout and will be over before you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. H.I.I.T. gives you a workout that feels twice as hard and increases the benefits of exercising. It raises your heart rate, continues to burn fat long after you have stopped working out and boosts your metabolism. To see what gyms and leisure clubs offer near you, simply pop over to the GymFlex or My Gym Discount website and enter your postcode to see what is available.