Often, when we think of Christmas, we look forward to Christmas parties, over indulging on food and alcohol, substituting workouts for socialising and TV marathons. Obviously, over the 6-8 week period, this lifestyle can lead to weight gain, stress and reduced fitness levels. But with some forward planning, we can limit the harm of the festive season without missing out on the fun stuff.
Ideally, we want to try to stay active throughout the party season. It doesn't mean you have to miss social gatherings or not attend the office party; instead why not get up a little earlier? That way, you can get your exercise completed, before other commitments take over. Not only will you resist putting on those extra pounds, you'll also be able to enjoy your outing, without the guilt of thinking you should be at the gym.
Despite old beliefs, it has been proven that you don't need to spend hours pounding the treadmill to look your best. Instead, you can partake in shorter, harder training sessions, such as HIIT. Less time spent working out for optimum results, rewards you with more time for getting ready for your big night out. Even simple 10 minute activity sessions have even been proven to be successful, so if you can't put 30 minutes aside, break your workout down into 10 minute blasts throughout the day.
Instead of automatically a lunch time gathering, or drinks after work, why not be more imaginative for your Christmas events. Festive ideas include ice skating, spa days, Grotto visits and Winter walks. You may end up having more fun than you imagined, reliving your youth and exerting energy. Alternatively, if it's the food and drink which you're really craving, try getting a group of you to the gym together before your night out so you can motivate each other. You can then get ready together and hit the town, knowing you have earned it.
Yes, it is the season to be jolly. No, that does not mean you need choose to resist practising your willpower at every given opportunity. Just because there are several boxes of chocolates in the cupboard and you are planning on starting your diet on January 1st, it doesn't mean they all need to be consumed by you within the next 3 days. Share them around and let them stay in your cupboard for the odd treat in January. Enjoy the odd mince pie, but there is no need to demolish half a box. Keep control by realising that a bad day doesn't need to be a horrendous day. Every extra calorie you consume is potential weight gain. Think about your snacks when shopping, perhaps get some salad and fruit snacks instead of just crisps and chocolates.
Extra alcohol, increased refined sugar and too much central heating can take it's toll during the festive period. This all aids in dehydrating your body. Dehydration will limit your ability to exercise well and can slow your digestive system down. Staying hydrated will help you to remain alert, fresh-faced, prevent hangovers and help to keep you in shape. Perhaps alternate your drinks with water, or set goals to ensure you drink adequately throughout the day.