It’s finally here, one of the best times of the year: Christmas and the winter holiday season!
Whatever your beliefs and family traditions, there’s a good chance that this is a time of year where most of us can be found rifling through the Quality Streets tin and drinking more than we should. And while such indulgences are definitely allowed this time of year, the bad news is they can put a dent in the year-long hard work put into your diet and fitness regime.
Two weeks at home for the holidays and we all come back relaxed, but a little worse for wear at the gym!
While everyone should enjoy their time at home and make sure to catch up on some well-earned rest, this doesn’t have to be a complete deal-breaker for your health.
What are some good ways of keeping in shape during the holidays? Let’s have a look.
Everything in Moderation
For those looking to keep fit during the holidays, staying active is key but unfortunately, we can’t ignore the facts… what you’re eating also makes a difference.
Sadly, a good run might not be enough to offset eating three entire Terry’s chocolate oranges.
As with during the rest of the year, a good diet is essential for staying in shape. When it comes to a good diet, this isn’t just about building muscle or losing weight either. It’s about ensuring your heart, organs, bones and every other part of your body is fit and able to keep up with your lifestyle.
Fortunately, this doesn’t have to mean sticking to sprouts on Christmas Day.
It’s Christmas, for goodness’ sake! Have a slice of the yule log, a handful of Roses, and go for a run. Stay active and remember to have everything in moderation. As long as you’re sticking to moderation, and not overdoing it, you’ll stay fit throughout your holidays.
Maintaining an Active Lifestyle
Ah yes, it’s so tempting to get home, put the fire on, make a cuppa and… not move for the next four days.
Especially the “hibernation” period between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, where sneaking in a gym session is the last thing on most people’s minds.
However, if you don’t want to waste all your 2019 fitness efforts, then get up off the sofa and stay active. The key with maintaining an active lifestyle is that it really is about making physical activity a part of your everyday life, and not an option to fit in once in a while.
The upside of this is, once you’ve gotten used to moving in some way or another every day, your body expects the activity and will be missing it if you start to “veg out”. What’s more, an active lifestyle does not necessarily mean training for a half marathon or cycling up a mountain.
The best way to be active at home is to keep it simple and achievable. Why not get the family together and go for a long walk? Or a gentle bike ride along the country roads? Or even, gather the troops and get a good game of cricket or football going!
There are many ways to get moving this holiday, but the key thing is to make it happen. Enjoy the fresh air and get outside, and if you’re bored of your normal workout, make it fun with the whole family!
Watch Your Alcohol Consumption
The Christmas season and New Year’s Eve especially are renowned for being the year’s drunkest holidays. Needless to say, this is especially true in the United Kingdom.
And while some may be proud of this questionable reputation and others less so, we can all agree that it does some damage to our health.
New Year’s Eve is especially rough on the body and liver. Alcohol is incredibly damaging to our general health and is also an aggravating factor in losing motivation to workout. Few people are committed to their workout once they wake up with a hangover… and it’s safe to say New Year’s Day may be the emptiest day of the year for gyms all over the country.
So, what’s the workaround here? Of course, not drinking at all is always an excellent option for your health and fitness, and it’ll help you get up for some exercise on New Year’s Day.
However, for those looking forward to a drink during the holidays, not to worry. As with diet during Christmas, moderation is key.
Avoiding going overboard on the drinks and taking some days off from drinking are great ways of pacing your alcohol intake during a night out. On a night out itself, alternate alcoholic drinks with water or non-alcoholic drinks to keep your body hydrated and reduce the damage in the morning.
Stay in Control of Your Health
Holidays are a great time to unwind and let yourself off the hook. Throughout the year, many of us set goals and do our best to keep them. Whether these are fitness, professional or other goals, it’s important to have these ambitions, but it’s equally important to give ourselves some time off.
This holiday, it can be nice to have a break from your regular fitness regime. In fact, it is a good idea in itself as it will keep you from getting bored with the same workout and a change of scenery can re-invigorate any exercise.
However, taking a break from your regular workouts does not mean taking a break from an active lifestyle, which should be a regular part of your life if done properly.
So, take advantage of this break to unwind and relax. Enjoy the change of scenery if you have one, and make the most of it by changing up your exercise. Go for walks, play with your pets, and challenge someone to a game of cricket or rounders. Watch the alcohol intake and pace your sugar consumption, and you’re ready for a healthy (ish) Christmas and holiday season!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the team at Beckwith Health Club!