Approaching the Holiday festivities many people accept that they need to give up exercise so they have more time to socialise, sort out the Christmas shopping, finish off projects at work and attend a variety of formal and informal Christmas parties. Do you feel the pressure yet what lack of exercise and stressing out can cause? In this blog I will show you how to fit in exercise into a very busy holiday schedule.
An American study found that holiday weight gain is actually less drastic than commonly assumed, however it has also concluded that the weight the subjects put on didn’t shift and even increased a little more in the first quarter of the following year.
This shows that the danger of overeating during the holiday season is not the immediate weight gain effect you would notice, but rather the habit of adding about 0.4-0.5kg weight each year in our adulthood which over 10 years can become 5, by our 40’s it can become the stubborn 10kg extra you have been trying to get rid of for a while.
Whether you re losing or gaining weight will depend on the balance between how much calories you consume versus the calories you expend via just living or staying active. While the major factor lies in your diet, keeping active during the holiday season is even more essential to keep the balance.
You may ask, but how do I juggle exercise between social gatherings, family visits, holiday feasts and work? Here are 5 tips for you to do that.
1. Always choose the more active way
Attending personal training sessions or fitness classes a few times a week can only do so much for your calorie expenditure and your fitness. Finding ways within your daily activities to move around more will increase how much calories your body needs every day for maintenance.
Think about walking the stairs instead of using lifts or escalators, carrying your shopping further or even all the way home, walking the distance between your offices or to home to get an extra 15-20 minute on your foot, stand up and walk o your colleagues instead of using the phone or emailing, and so on.
2. Include short bursts of exercise into your daily routine
Spend 5 minutes doing squats, press ups, lunges, jumping jacks or holding a plank every morning right after you get out of bed. Repeat it a few times in the day when it’s possible.
Choose high intensity shorter workouts in the gym or with your trainer to save time but be just as efficient. Make sure you break a sweat and get out of breath.
3. Home workout
We’ve discussed how you can stay active without a gym membership. It’s ok to save time by not having to go to the gym, but make sure you use other methods to exercise.
Go for a long walk 3 times a week, run for half an hour in the morning, follow a video exercise routine along in your living room. Find ways to include at least 3-4 sessions a week, even if only for 30 minutes.
4. Hire an online coach
The benefit of an online coach is that you will receive the same level of expertise in your workout design and will be able to have check-in calls to see how you get on, but you will be able to exercise at the times that best suit your schedule and change sessions flexibly around your other commitments.
5. Encourage family activities
Christmas is all about enjoying some down time with family and friends. Why not introduce them to a healthier and fitter lifestyle, use exercise for bonding while caring for their wellbeing?
This can include walking the dog together or just heading out for a hike into the woods nearby. Set up a small pitch or court and play football, basketball, netball or any game you all like or take them to the ice rink.
Being busier than normal doesn’t have to mean you should stop exercising. Quite the opposite indeed, especially since you will likely be eating more than usual. Have you got questions or would like more ideas? Feel free to contact me.
Owner and creator of One Small Step, Joe has been in the health and fitness industry for 8 years and takes an all-round approach to his coaching.