‘Tis the season! But when the festivities come around, it’s all too easy for fitness and motivation levels hit an all-time slump. From Christmas parties to long family meals, there are many reasons that you find it hard to work out.
Want to keep your fitness regime going strong? Here are some small and simple tips that will help you do just that this yuletide.
Create a realistic workout plan
Over Christmas, you get the chance to rest and recuperate before the new year hits. In the lead-up to your break, take some time to sit down and plan out your fitness. Be realistic about how much time you can actually dedicate to working out. Research shows that setting goals you can visualise means you’re more likely to reach them.
With that in mind, the targets you create for yourself need to be attainable and reasonable. You might want to start small. For example, you could dedicate 20 minutes per day to some form of physical activity. That might mean heading out for a walk after dinner or doing 30 mins of YouTube Yoga each morning. Consider the ways in which you can keep yourself moving over this period and take full advantage of them.
Try the best home fitness apps
Visiting relatives and loved ones is all part and parcel of the festive season. You might say it’s the brandy on your Christmas pudding. While you love seeing your family, being away from home could play havoc with your fitness regime. If you’re miles away from your regular gym, you have to find other ways to work out. Say hello to home fitness apps.
Choosing the best fitness apps for your lifestyle is the key to getting this right. There are a couple of free options that work wonders, such as the 7-Minute Workout and Freeletics. However, if you want a fitness app with dedicated workouts and a little more analysis of your fitness routines, you may want to invest in a paid service like Sweat with Kayla. Start browsing the app store and read the reviews to figure out which works for you.
Avoid overindulging on the stuffing
Nutrition is the baseline of your fitness routine. If you want your body to work out hard, you need to give it the fuel it needs to keep going. Sadly, a fully loaded-up meal of festive treats with all the trimmings is far from your ideal nutritional plan. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t enjoy your Christmas dinner this year though! Instead, you simply need to be mindful and make small changes and swaps in and around the big day to give your meal a nutritious edge.
Experts from the Columbia University Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital recommend a few savvy ways you can get eat well this season. The advice includes choosing slightly smaller portion sizes, loading your plate with greens (more broccoli, please!), and rethinking your appetisers so that they are healthier and more nutritious. You don't need to go cold turkey on, ahem, turkey. Small tweaks will make all the difference.
Get the rest that your body needs
Burning the wick at both ends? Every single night is a party during the festive season, but that’s tough on your health and wellness. Since you will likely have a little time off work during the Christmas period, it’s the perfect time to make sleep your top priority. On average, adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night to function well.
Failing to get the rest that you need could hinder your athletic ability, suggests research from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Keeping to a regular nighttime routine could help you boost the amount of sleep you get each night. While there’s nothing wrong with the odd late night, being mindful that your body needs to recover is vital.
Set your alarm for the same time each day
Rising at the same time each day is a sure fire way to take control of your wellness over the holiday season. During your downtime, having the odd cheeky lie-in is only natural, but it’s something you want to avoid doing too often. Should you let this become a habit, you might find it hard to break once the new year comes around.
Start as you mean to go on by setting your alarm at the same time each day and sticking to it. Getting up earlier than the rest of the house has some serious advantages. For instance, you might well find that the morning is the best time to sneak in your a quick fitness session. By the time everybody else wakes up, you will have already met your workout goals. Why not give it a go?
UP NEXT: Winter blues? 8 top tips for a positively mindful winter >
Feed your wellness from the inside out with our nutrition range >