How to stay fit over the festive season
With less than a month to go until Christmas, many of us are well aware of the need to lose weight before gorging on mince pies!
Although I am all for relaxing and enjoying yourselves with loved ones this Christmas, the excess calories from food and the empty calories from alcohol can leave us feeling bloated and lethargic. But if you just consider some small changes day-to-day you can still look and feel your best this Christmas. So fear not, as below I have compiled some of my top tips to help you stay fit and active over the festive season.
1. Walk everywhere
Instead of waiting around for the busy tube or a stuffy bus ride, how about heading most places on foot to shed those extra pounds? Plus, getting your body out in the cold is not a bad thing as your body will be actively burning calories to keep warm. Also cooling your muscles can help avoid DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).
2. Stand don’t sit
A recent study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that standing and sitting more frequently can lead to relatively fast, and low effort weight loss. In particular, they found that standing versus sitting for six hours a day would help a ten stone person burn an extra 54 calories a day. Add it up over the course of a year, and that’s equal to nearly half a stone.
In particular, you can burn between 100 to 300 calories if you walk for just 30 minutes at a brisk pace. So how about wrapping up warm and enjoying the outdoor Winter scenes whilst also avoiding the mayhem of public transport. Plus, previous studies have shown that standing burns about nine additional calories per hour compared to sitting. This is such a small change but has huge benefits as not only do you burn more calories standing, but it’s also better for your posture.
3. Think of December as maintenance
While many people find winter synonymous with weight gain, perhaps think of December as a ‘maintenance month’. Unless you have a specific plan in place, think of December as the month of maintenance, it might not be the best time to gain or lose. If your goal is weight loss it’s unlikely you are going to be able to hit a calorie deficit every day over the holidays, so this probably isn’t the best time to get lean and shredded!
4. Hit the dance floor
No doubt you’ve been invited to a few Christmas parties this year so there’s little chance of avoiding the dance floor during the festive season — especially when the DJ puts on Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas.
But by throwing your favourite shapes on the dance floor this could in fact help you to stay in shape — literally. It has even been revealed that a person can burn up to 400 calories during one hour of dancing! Dancing helps to burn those liquid calories and particularly sweat away some of those excess calories from alcohol. Do however make sure you stay hydrated (with water!) to avoid a hellish hangover the next morning!
5. Sweat at work
You don’t just need to spend your day rattling away on a keyboard or in meetings with your colleagues. If you’ve been regularly getting into the office early in the mornings to fit in a pre-work training session or doing a Yoga class or going out for a run with a colleague at lunchtimes, then stick with it! December, more than most months, is the time when we all need a bit more motivation to work out and by participating in something with a friend you are far more likely to do it and feel better as a result!
If the above hasn’t inspired you, then there’s always my 12 Days of Say Fitmas challenge coming up on the 13th of December. This year’s theme is Mobility where I will be releasing a mobility drill every day for the 12 days in the lead-up to Christmas Day. Follow me on Instagram or Facebook (@sayfitnesspt) to take part and tag me in your efforts.
Eat, drink, stay fit and most importantly — be merry!