Christmas, the festive period has officially begun! Whether or not you love Christmas, it’s always a bit of a marathon, and not the 26 mile one!
Ho Ho Ho or Oh No No! A healthy focus towards Christmas!
For some this means endless rounds of parties, stockpiling of chocolate, and for many the excuse to consume to excess, forgetting what exercise is and why it is important.
This frequently results in the New Year’s resolutions to get fit and lose weight, so it’s not surprising that many people struggle to maintain a healthy focus in December.
Exercise may be the last thing on your mind, but if the thought of getting all the Christmas shopping done or preparing Christmas lunch for the whole family is making you anxious, there could be one simple remedy: physical activity.
Many adopt the ‘I’ll start again in January’ mantra, writing off their month of inactivity and poor eating choices. Over indulging will only make it harder to get back into a routine and find the motivation to do so.
When you look across the various studies that have been done on how much weight people put on over the Christmas period it ranges from around 1 pound on average to about 5 pounds (about 2 kg). But while researchers may disagree on the exact figure, they all agree that the problem isn’t so much the amount of gain itself, but the fact that once gained, it is hard to shift, so as the years go by, body weight creeps up.
However, the festive period is a special time, providing a break from everyday life and the chance to enjoy ourselves. If you do exercise normal exercise routines are bound to be compromised as other events take priority, but there are positives that can be taken from this too. The body needs the chance to rest and recover from exercise, reducing the intensity of fitness schedules provides the opportunity to do so and understanding the importance of balance and moderation; missing one exercise session won’t make us unfit but falling out of the routine of regular exercise will. The festive period doesn’t last forever, but successfully negotiating it will allow for plenty of enjoyment whilst keeping on track with fitness goals.
Keeping things in moderation is a major key to Christmas. It is easy to say “eat and drink in moderation”, but not quite so easy to carry out, so here are some ideas for moderating what you eat and drink this festive season.
Use a smaller plate, your mind will consider it a full plate regardless of its size!
Where there are choices, take a little of many things rather than lots of one thing. This ensures you are getting a balanced meal and not overloading on a fatty food.
For every glass of alcohol or soft drink, have a glass of water. Water fills you up, has no calories or side effects, is cheap and will help wash out the excesses.
Help clear the table as soon as everyone finished eating rather than sitting and picking at leftovers.
Get onto the dance floor at those parties, or even at home, get up and move and shake to your favourite dance CDs. Not only will you burn calories, and hopefully have some fun, it is difficult to eat when you are dancing!
Merry Healthy Christmas to all!