With the festive season upon us, it generally means diet debauchery, abandoned exercise routines and overconsumption of food and alcohol. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With a little forward planning and a bit of self-discipline, it is perfectly possible to enjoy a happy Christmas and enter the New Year feeling fit, not fat.
Many people fall off the exercise bandwagon at Christmas or rule out the idea of continuing to reach their weight loss goals during this time, assuming there is no point in starting or continuing until after the New Year. The biggest barrier we hear to exercise is a lack of time, a break from the usual routine can provide the ideal opportunity to begin or maintain physical activity. Staying active over Christmas not only reduces your chances of gaining weight, it also helps energise you, reduces stress and gives you a break.
With in the influx of family and visitors making it difficult to do your usual routine, you need to make some adaptations. Workouts don’t have to be long to be beneficial. The trade off is that you need to be willing to exercise at a higher intensity for a shorter time. Go for a 20-minute high intensity training session. This is just as effective as a 40-minute session at a steady state. If that’s too long of a session break it down further into short 10-minute bouts. Any structured exercise is going to be beneficial rather than nothing at all. To up your chances of getting outside and active this festive season, buy gifts that need to be road tested. Bikes, scooters, footballs and cricket sets will get everyone outside trying them out.
Is it better to exercise before or after eating? Research suggests that exercise after eating decreases the glycaemic effect of food, minimising blood sugar spikes and dips as well reducing the likelihood of further snacking later on. Gentle after-dinner activity also helps to support digestion more effectively than nodding off on the lounge does.
Give this home workout a try this festive season! It’s an accumulator workout, but as an added challenge, try and undertake all the previous day’s exercises on the list. For example, undertake 5 star jumps on day 5, but also undertake the 1 minute plank, 2 minute wall squat etc.