How to Have an Enjoyable Festive Season Without Losing your Fitness

Written by Elly McGuinness

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As the festive season draws nearer you might find your calendar starting to fill up. Parties are the norm at this time of year and there are wonderful opportunities for celebrating and reflecting on the year that is coming to an end.

Most people are still working at their full time jobs leading up to Christmas and the New Year which can mean packed in schedules. This might leave little free time to fit in your normal routine. Exercise and nutrition habits can easily fall by the wayside at this time of the year when you feel like you don’t have the same available time to get organised. Regular activities like grocery shopping and workouts are often the things that get neglected the most.

The festive season should be an enjoyable time and not one where you feel guilty for breaking away from your usual routine. The changes in your schedule, activities and habits can be part of your plan for this time of the year. In fact, with a bit of forethought and planning you can spring into the New Year feeling rejuvenated and ready to continue where you left off the previous year.

Here we share our best tips to have fun and indulge a little without feeling like you’re starting over with your health and fitness goals once the New Year rolls around.

Consider different forms of fitness to what you’d usually do

Are you meeting up with friends or work colleagues? Instead of hitting the pub, suggest something active and fun that you wouldn’t normally do. How about ice skating, trying your hand at curling, or even hitting a dry slope for an afternoon of skiing? You can always go for a meal and a mulled wine afterwards and will likely feel more rejuvenated for getting a good dose of activity into your day.

Be mindful of, but still enjoy your festive food choices

When there is a feast of food on offer over the Christmas weeks, start by filling half your plate with salad or vegetables. That way you know you’re putting some light and highly nutritious food in your system. From there, add the other things that you’d like to eat to the other half of your plate. This can include some indulgence of foods you might not normally eat.

Think of ways to get more out of the workouts that you are able to fit in

Choose compound exercises that will give you more ‘bang for your buck’. Schedule in a few personal training sessions to help you stay accountable…and prioritize them before your diary fills up with other things. Better yet, opt to have a personal trainer come to your home so you eliminate the travel time involved with getting to and from the gym.

Be mindful of your drinking choices

If you drink alcohol, you will probably find that it’s easy for extra drinks to make their way into your hand at this time of the year. Healthy food choices become harder when this is the case and it’s easier to feel rundown and lethargic after one too many alcoholic beverages. A few ideas to keep the alcohol intake under control at this time of year include:

  • Offering to be the sober driver for some events
  • Drinking a glass of water in between alcoholic drinks. Alcohol is very dehydrating so this is an important one to be aware of
  • Choosing a low alcohol beer or wine spritzer instead of a full strength option

Start setting your New Year health and fitness goals early

You don’t need to spend a lot of time on this yet, but why not start thinking about what you want to achieve in 2019? Jot down a few notes about what you want to achieve with your health and fitness in the New Year. Do you want to run your first half marathon or lose 10lb? Write down a few ideas and pin them up somewhere visible. Subconsciously, this may just help you to stop eating when you’ve had enough or to find time for that 20 minute express workout.

What are your tips for staying fit and healthy over the festive season? What strategies will you focus on to leap into the New Year feeling fantastic? Leave a comment in the box below!

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