Health: Fitness Tips for the Christmas Season




Tip one: A brief hiatus from training lasting a few days, or even a couple of weeks, is unlikely to significantly affect your overall fitness levels. This is especially true if you maintain a somewhat balanced diet and remain moderately active during this time. Don’t hear me wrong there, do feel free to indulge, but maybe minimise it to just a few days (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day for example). The body can sustain its fitness levels fairly well, with short breaks, if overall healthy habits are maintained.

If you experience a slight decline in fitness or notice a small weight gain, it’s no cause for concern. By granting yourself the time to de-load mentally and to recover physically you are actually setting the stage for a stronger come back. This break provides an excellent foundation not only to regain lost fitness quicker but also to leverage a refreshed start and build upon it, ultimately becoming stronger and fitter than before.

Tip two: You may want to wrap yourself up in a warm blanket, and eat treats while watching all the Christmas movies, but I don’t recommend this being your predominant activity. You will only end up feeling rubbish, both physically and mentally. That being said, you don’t need to go to the gym over the Christmas break to stay fit and well. In fact, it may prove to be a good time to have a break from your routine. Play with your kids and grandkids, go for walks, offer to tidy up or cook Christmas dinner, and you will continue to burn calories at a decent rate.

Tip three: The Christmas holiday season often brings a flood of articles aiming to guide you in maintaining your fitness goals amidst the festive celebrations. It’s become customary to encounter lists and bullet points detailing the number of sit-ups or miles you’ll need to achieve to work off those indulgent treats. Ignore them. It’s unreasonable to demand this level of focus 24/7, 365 days a year. Good health and fitness is important but don’t make it an idol that ruins your fun.

Christmas embodies the spirit of giving and rekindling connections with loved ones. It’s an opportune moment to ease off the accelerator, relax and relish the time spent with family and friends. Remember the gym isn’t going anywhere. It’ll still be there in the New Year, just a bit busier for a month or so!

Main Photo Credit: Jonathan Meyer via Unsplash

Mark Ames

Ex-Marine, Mark Ames, is the director of Taunton-based Pure Performance Personal Training.

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