Happy Christmas and I hope everyone has felt confident in starting the gym or at least tried one of my home workouts over the last few months!
The lead up to Christmas is a time when people tend to slack off from the gym, but it is actually the perfect time to give your body the benefits it brings, and will also have you ready to jump straight back into the routine as soon as the festivities are over! I’m going to break the 2 common sides of fitness up for this month, and explain how each part can be adapted so that it helps, not hinders, you throughout December and into the New Year.
Ok so the title might sound like something you would do dressed up in a Santa outfit with bells on, but I call it the Christmas workout because it should be something a little different than your usual longer effort in the gym.
Over the festive period I understand some priorities might change and family should always come first, so gym workouts can be shortened to accommodate, but possibly need to be more intense. If you can fit in three shorter sessions during the week, this will help a lot in keeping fitness levels up and the dreaded weight gain off. Hitting a 30 minute intense, short rest period workout will have your metabolism firing, burning the chocolate off before it’s even been opened!
Try one of my body weight circuits if you don’t have time to go to the gym. Remember it can be finished in 30 minutes as long as you really push yourself and keep the rest periods to under 30 seconds…it will be tough, but it won’t last long!
I’m going to be the first person to admit that nobody should be dieting during the week of Christmas to New Year. I understand people will not want to overindulge too much, but thinking you can under eat is a huge task.
What we are aiming for is damage control. A good tip that I give is to only eat the treats that you absolutely love and can’t live without/Christmas specials. Eating this way your body will still get a little happy hit of chocolate or pudding, but you aren’t wasting calories throughout the day on the other treats that might be dotted around and you only eat because you can see them. It will also make it easier saying no knowing you are actually having something a little later on that’s a lot better!
The main meals themselves are usually quite healthy, and are probably one of the most homemade meals of the year, so the same rules apply with them, eat high protein, high veg until you are full but not overfull.
Alcohol on the other hand can be one of the main culprits when it comes to weight gain, even away from Christmas. Once again I would never say to not participate or enjoy this time socialising with friends and family, if you are conscious of what’s best then stick to lower alcohol beverage options or clearer spirits with diet mixers.
Keeping your short session training up 3-4 times per week, eating healthy home made meals (lots of veg to fill up) and a few daily treats will not put your body into any kind of downward spiral like people think. Even if you do think you have had too much, if you stick to your training routine, come the start of the new year you will already be in sync and raring to go instead of having to walk back into the gym with your head down having had 2-3 weeks away and feeling like a newbie.
Hope this article has been helpful and have a great Christmas and New Year!