When we think of the Christmas break we generally think of food, drinks, family, friends, presents and of course settling into your favourite spot on the couch for 5 days of watching the Aussies smash the Poms around the park at the MCG (Or King Kohli’s Swami Army). However, the thing we often overlook at this time of year is our exercise. It happens to the most active of us, but why is that?
In reality the Christmas break is the best and arguably the easiest time of year to exercise. I know, sounds crazy, but hear me out. We are eating and drinking more so we should be increasing our activity levels (maintaining or decreasing bodyweight is a matter of energy in vs energy out after all), some of us are lucky enough to get time off work over this period creating more free time in our days, and the warm weather brings with it a wider of variety of options to keep you fit and healthy.
Below I have put together a list of tips and ideas to keep you exercising over the holiday period.
- Go for a dip in the pool or beach: Swimming is a great way to keep fit and cool at the same time. Swimming can be particularly beneficial for those with joint pain due to a reduction in weight-bearing and those with respiratory conditions such as Asthma. And with the ABS reporting that 11.7% of the population have backyard pools (2007), most of Sydney being within an hours drive of a beach, and almost every suburb having a public pool, this is an easily accessible option for almost everyone.
- Go for a walk: Bush, beach, park, neighbourhood, the choice is yours. With the weather warming up, what better time to explore some of Australia’s many walking tracks? Walking has been proven time and time again to reduce chronic pain and illness, improve mood and quality of life, reduce fatigue, and improve general health and wellness. In addition to these benefits, outdoor exercise like walking also provides us with some much needed Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency affects 30% of Australians with varying levels of severity and can result in reduce bone mineral density and increased risk of fractures, and has been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, cognitive impairment, cancers and childhood asthma. And what’s Australia’s number 1 source of Vitamin D? Sun exposure! Just remember to slip, slop, slap.
- Backyard sports: It’s a great Aussie tradition. Whether you prefer soccer, cricket, touch football, volleyball or even the classic totem tennis, inevitably backyard sports are part of the Christmas Day tradition. Not only are they good fun for the whole family, they are also a good source of physical activity. Proving once again that exercise can be fun!
- Attend your Optimum appointments: Don’t forget to come to your twice weekly sessions. We don’t close over Christmas! As long as it’s not a public holiday, it’s business as usual. Christmas is not an excuse to slack off on those short and long term goals, and our accredited Exercise Physiologist and Dieticians are going to make sure you don’t. As well as keeping you accountable, we also provide an air conditioned alternative on those extra hot summer days!