5 Tips to Stay Fit Over the Festive Period

In the lead up to Christmas there is a sudden wave of posts and comments all related to the excesses and indulgences of the festive period. They bombard us all the way through December and illicit feelings of fear, guilt and anxiety about the gluttony to come.

The truth is for the most part these are all intended to make you feel bad about yourself because then you'll buy something to make yourself feel better. Normally something you don't need that won't help you lose weight.

What if I could offer you 5 FREE and simple tips to help you keep fit over the festive period?

First things first, Christmas is not about exercising to earn food. Let's just say that right from the start, because life is too short for that kind of mindset.

I am and will always be a firm believer in all things in moderation. I mean I'm called Weights & Wine for a reason.

However, I have seen with my clients already that these messages are starting to impact on how they're talking about food and exercise over Christmas. That worry, and fear is creeping in fast.

Which led me to think, some helpful and simple tips might just help keep you all feeling fit and virtuous over the festive period and stop you from forking out a load of money on detox products and other such nonsense that you don't need.

1. Up your NEAT game

NEAT stands for Non-exercise activity thermogenesis. That is a fancy way of saying the energy you use during every day activities that are NOT exercise. Stuff like walking to the shop or cleaning the house.

In the case of Christmas this probably means getting the emergency chairs out.

NEAT isn't exciting, but it is a really easy way to keep your body working and using calories throughout the day.

Want to know more about upping your NEAT? Check out AceFitness and their article - 6 Things You Need To Know About Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis.

2. Hydrate

The festive period usually signals an increase in alcohol consumption (yey) and we've all been there - dry mouth, tired, headache. Alcohol acts as a diuretic which means it increases urine output. Essentially when you're knocking back the vino, you're peeing more than normal.

Some people swear by the one wine one water rule. Make sure you keep a glass by the bed and try and get a glass down you before you hit the sack. Make sure the next day you're all over the water intake to help ease some of the general pain and potential embarrassment from the night before.

Not a water fan? Why not try one of the Everyday Health - 7 Ways To Make Water Taste Better

3. Keep as consistent as you can

If you've been training twice a week in the lead up to Christmas, as best you can try and keep that going. Social commitments often mean we're scaling back the time we spend in the gym. That's OK.

Make best use of the time you do have and if a normal 4 split sessions turn into 2 full body workouts, you really don't have much to worry about.

Remember this is only temporary and any movement is better than no movement.

4. Eat Well

I'm serious. Yes, there are lots of goodies on offer over Christmas and yes this is our opportunity to eat everything and anything with Santa on it.

Let's look at what a Christmas Dinner is made up of. Meat and veggies. I consider that a pretty balanced meal.

Let's also put this into a bit of context. It is one day out of a whole year. If you've been balancing your nutrition, one day is going to do absolutely nothing to spoil all your hard work.

If you really want to keep things with your diet on track there are a load of great recipes this time of year, check out the BBC Good Food website for some inspiration.

The stuffing balls are a personal favourite.

5. Rest

Rest and recovery are really important factors in everyone's training. The body needs periods of rest for muscles to recover. If you force yourself to be on the go all the time you will burn out.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break from your training over Christmas and I guarantee you'll have a tonne of energy once you get back in the gym.

The festive period is a nice break from all the #nosetothegrind pressures we've created in the virtual world we now live in. Feet up and spend some much-needed down time with your friends and family.

Check out Dean Karnazes post for FitBit on the 6 Reasons Why Rest Days Are Important.

If you ever needed validation from an expert, an endurance athlete should do it.

So, there you have it. My 5 stupidly simple and completely free ways to help you navigate the festive period without feeling like a fitness failure.

I know this time of year can bring on all kinds of anxieties for people. Christmas should be about making memories with the people you love. Remember that.

If you want any additional advice or have any questions about keeping fit over the festive period just drop me a line, I'd be happy to help.


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