Moving is really important in general (see my exercise post) but it can be really helpful over the holiday period.
Exercising regularly will help keep you calm, stress-free, focused & feeling good. It will also help improve sleep.
Increased movement will also help mitigate any over-eating that might happen (will probably happen).
Making time for exercise can be difficult during an already busy time, so here are some tips to help you on your way.
Start each day with exercise
This will leave you calmer, less stressed & with a sense of achievement. It also means it’s done so you can get on with your day.
Right from the start of the day you’ll have a more positive mindset & a higher sense of self-efficacy and determination. You’ll also be able to enjoy the endorphins you earned with your exercise
Stay on your feet
If you’re at an event, focus on milling around. It’ll not only keep you moving but you’ll be able to socialise more effectively & enjoy your family/friends.
Short bursts of exercise count
If you don’t have time for an exercise session, take a few short exercise breaks throughout the day. Aim to accumulate around 30 minutes daily.
Set realistic goals
I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again: make sure your exercise plans are realistic.
Keeping it simple & doable will help you avoid negative feelings associated with failure. You’ll also get to celebrate your achievements & feel great about how you’re handling your challenges.
Choose the right intensity
If you do have time for intense exercise, choose a high intensity interval training program (HIIT). This is a type of exercise program where you alternate high intensity exercise with low-moderate intensity exercise within a single session. HIIT training burns more energy faster than conventional cardiovascular exercise so is more efficient for those who have limited time. Check out my exercise post for how to figure out the intensity of your workout using the talk test.
If you can’t comfortably do HIIT, or the idea of it puts you off – any intensity is fine. It’s moving that’s important so do it any way you can.
Keep busy while completing tasks on the big day.
Walk a plate of food around to other people (make sure you pick a food that’s either healthy or won’t tempt you).
Offer to hand out the gifts & do a squat each time you take a present from under the tree.
Play with the kids to help keep them entertained.
Work out what will work for your environment/situation & figure out ways you can take advantage of it. Again, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do something.
Hanging out with family doesn’t mean you have to lounge around. Take the family swimming, walking, play with the kids or play a game – the possibilities are only limited by your imagination (& probably climate!). It keeps you moving, busy & is usually great fun.
Use an activity tracker
Use a wearable tracker or an app to keep track of your step count.
Many will also remind you to move if you’ve been sedentary for too long.
Try to get one that will adjust the goal based on the number of steps you already do. They will slightly increase the goal from day-to-day, gently encouraging more activity.
If you can, aim for somewhere between 10,000 to 15,000 steps per day. For some people this is very doable, but for many it’s not, so just do the best you can.
Trackers are great because they not only encourage you to move more, but they give you a real sense of achievement when you hit your goal.
There are few ideas to get you started. Have a think about what will suit your own situation & what kinds of activities will fit best.
Try to move daily, but don’t aim higher than you can reach.
All these exercise habits are great because they’ll not only see you through Christmas & New Year, but they are also perfect for everyday life.
Remember, the easier a goal is, the more likely you are to achieve it. Simple is not only OK, but it’s great.
Think really carefully about what habits will support you through your own unique Christmas challenges. Aim for something achievable & start practicing now.
Would personalised one-on-one consultations with me help empower you to stay healthy over the holiday period. Do you need more general help with your diet, lifestyle &/or weight? If the answer is yes check out my 1:1 consultations or packages. I’d love to help.
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Do you have any questions or anything else to add?
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Thank you so much for joining me for this post.