Your festive season survival guide – 6 tips and tricks to ensure you stay on track with your health and fitness this festive season.
End of year parties, time off work on holidays, catching up with friends and family, celebration and lots of food and booze. It is all ahead of us and it is no surprise that it can feel almost impossible to avoid the missing of workouts, putting on weight and starting the New Year feeling completely over-done.
There is no doubting that it is a challenging time of year, but with a bit of effort and forward thinking, it does not have to be a huge blow-out
In an effort to try and make this years festive season a bit more manageable, we have created a festive season survival guide with 6 hints and tips to take advantage of.
Survival Tip #1 – Get Your Exercise Done Early AND Daily
The next 6 weeks are incredibly busy. With work ramping up to get deadlines complete before the end of year, our days are longer already. Combine this with parties, celebrations, shopping and much more, a crammed schedule can be incredibly difficult to fit in exercise at the end of the day.
So do it at the start!
There are fewer events (if any) that occur early in the morning. So set your alarm 45 minutes earlier than normal and take advantage of it by doing a workout.
If you combine the feeling of accomplishment with the rush of endorphins that come with an early morning workout, you will have energy for the rest of the day knowing that you have started it on the right foot. You can only win!
Unsure of what to do?
Here is a workout that can be done on your own
Survival Tip #2 – Plan Around Your Indulgences
They say “failing to plan is planning to fail” and this is perfectly exemplified with your holiday nutrition. We are surrounded with temptation a little bit more than normal, but with a bit of planning you can manage it with (relative) ease.
Realistically we are not having indulgent meals every single time we eat over the next few months are we?
It is more likely that there are maybe 1-2 meals/events a week that run the risk of being a complete blow-out, and that should not be an excuse to completely throw in the towel.
If you know you have a lunch/dinner coming up that will be indulgent, instead of feeling guilty about it, why not enjoy it as best possible because you have limited your calories earlier on in the day AND already done some exercise?
Tip: Have a low-calorie breakfast and do a morning workout so you can enjoy the party later on in the day.
Having a positive mind-set with everything over the next few months will create a much higher chance of fitness success.
For some low-calorie breakfast ideas, click here
Survival Tip #3 – Practice Self Care
With the combination of all the factors we have been speaking about (work, events, shopping, parties), it is no surprise that this can also be the most stressful time of the year. It is vitally important that you also take time for yourself and make sure that you can be the best person possible!
Instead of getting to the end of the year and falling into a heap, make sure you arrive with energy.
A few things that make a difference include:
- Make sure that you are getting at least 7 hours of sleep each day so that your body has the chance to repair and recover every day.
- Take a 15 minutes each day to go for a walk without your phone so that you can gain a bit of clarity and get some vitamin D.
- Make sure that you are always staying within the confines of boundaries that you have set and don’t be afraid to say NO. One night to yourself can make the next 3 even more enjoyable.
For more information on the impact that stress has on the body, click here
Survival Tip #4 – Reduce Calories In Alcohol & Drink Water!
There is the potential for A LOT of alcohol over the next few months, and that is perfectly normal. With increased alcohol, there is of course the big increase in calories (that provide no nutritional benefit).
But did you know that not all drinks are created equal?
Beer, wine, spirits, mixers, cocktails all have alcohol in them but there is a huge variant in the amount of calories.
Tip: Have soda water as the mixer with your spirits. This will automatically reduce the super-high calorie tonic water and soft drinks that are most often mixed in.
If you are also looking to avoid the big hangover the next morning, it is very advisable to alternate your alcohol with water to make sure that you stay hydrated. Whilst it is often the last thing on your mind, it will make the world of difference the next day.
Combine that with a walk/run when you wake up and almost all of the potential damage that comes from drinking can be managed relatively well.
Notice that we are not saying that you should not drink?!!
Balance is the key to success with alcohol.
Have fun, but know the impact that it has.
For more information on the impact of alcohol, click here
Survival Tip #5 – Eat Before The Party & Dance!
If you go to an event hungry, you are leaving yourself at the mercy of the food and your stomach.
This is a bad idea!
It can be incredibly easy to over-indulge on the finger food without even realising.
Forward thinking usually helps in situations like this!
Having even a small meal before you head out means that you have taken control over the situation, and whilst you can still enjoy the food at the party, if it is something that looks unhealthy, it is much easier to say no.
Tip: Once you are at the party, do not be afraid to dance the night away!
Movement burns calories, and there is no more enjoyable way to burn some extra calories than by hitting the dancefloor throughout the night.
You might as well enjoy it right?
Survival Tip #6 – Move The Social Events Outside
This time of year involves a lot of catch-ups with friends and family, but it does not always have to revolve around food and exercise. Instead of catching up for lunch, dinner or drinks, why not go for a walk, to the beach or play a game of tennis?
Changing the scenery automatically means that you are less likely to get involved with indulgent food and alcohol, instead you are getting some sun and burning some calories.
Everyone is feeling the same this time of year, and if you throw around the idea of something a bit more active, there is a good chance that your friends and family will be on board as well. It would probably be a welcome relief for everyone.
The end of year can be incredibly busy, overwhelming and can (understandably) be health-busting. It does not have to be. This festive season survival guide is here to make it a bit easier. Make sure to enjoy the next months and have fun. Enjoy a positive mindset, be sure to plan and discipline. It is entirely possible to start next year in the best shape yet!
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