It might seem a little early to start posting about Christmas but it is actually only 7 weeks away. Over the next 7 weeks I am going to be posting plenty of useful tips to help you avoid the Christmas bulge and maintain some level of fitness over the festive period. However, today I am going to get you prepared for the coming weeks with the Free Fitness Tips Christmas Survival Guide.
This comprehensive guide gives you all the information you need to survive the holiday season with your fitness intact. Whether you are trying to fit in some exercise, looking for the perfect gift for a fitness enthusiast or just want some help avoiding all the tasty treats – I have it all covered here.
I have broken the Free Fitness Tips Survival Guide down into the following 4 sections so that you can maximise all aspects of your fitness over the festive period:
- Christmas Diet Tips:- A collection of tips to minimise the impact of festive food and drink on your waistline.
- Christmas Exercise Tips:- A collection of tips to help you fit in some exercise during the busy holiday season.
- Christmas Gift Ideas:- A collection of Christmas gift ideas, each with a fitness theme.
- Christmas Mood Tips:- A collection of tips to help you keep your spirits high during the festive period.
CHRISTMAS DIET TIPS
1) Cut The Calories In Your Alcohol
1 of the main lifestyle changes that happens over Christmas is that you drink more alcohol. Whether you are attending Christmas parties, going round to your friend’s house for drinks, going on a night out or visiting family, alcohol always seems to be flowing. Now I am not going to tell you to avoid alcoholic drinks this Christmas. Christmas would not be Christmas if you could not let your hair down and enjoy a drink or 2 (or 3+…). However, not all alcoholic beverages have the same impact on your waistline.
There are high calorie alcoholic drinks such as mulled wine (which contains a massive 253 calories per small glass) and low calorie alcoholic drinks such as dry white wine (which contains a much lower 83 calories per small glass). By making some smart substitutes you can significantly reduce the amount of calories you drink this Christmas. For example, if you switch mulled wine for dry white wine you can save a notable 173 calories per small glass.
If your favourite alcoholic drink also happens to be high in calories try making these smart substitutions 50% of the time. This will still allow you to enjoy your favourite drink but also allow you to cut out some alcohol calories over the festive period.
2) Lighten Your Christmas Meals
Another thing that changes around Christmas is that you eat more food and generally this food is higher in calories. You are likely to be snacking on cakes, chocolates and mince pies and will probably go through a few large 3 course meals before the holiday season is over. Like with the alcohol, I am not going to tell you to avoid all the Christmas treats all the time. However, there are a number of tricks you can use to ensure that all this extra food does not destroy your fitness goals.
First, make sure you start the day right and have a healthy, low calorie breakfast. If you know you are likely to be eating a lot of food later in the day, then eating something light in the morning such as fruit, yogurt or even a protein shake can really help.
Secondly, choose healthy snacks some of the time. Nuts and oranges are 2 healthy snacks that always seem to make an appearance around Christmas time. You do not have to spend the entire festive period snacking on fruits or nuts but even just a few smart food substitutes can really add up.
Finally, if you are involved with any cooking over the festive period try to lighten the meal and have healthy starters, main courses or desserts on offer. Even something as small as serving salad as a starter or taking the bread off the table can reduce the total calories in the meal.
Eating extra calories is not the only problem Christmas creates for your fitness routine. Alcohol, cakes and mince pies are all seriously lacking in nutrients and as a result your intake of these important compounds normally drops over the festive period.
You need to make sure you are getting enough nutrients all year round. They ensure that your body is running properly, keep you safe from disease and infection, promote optimal health and much more. However, during Christmas consuming enough nutrients is extra important.
At this time of year you are much more susceptible to the common cold and the flu. The increased intake of alcohol and low quality foods also has a negative impact on your immune system. Getting adequate nutrients can help strengthen your immune system and reduce your chances of contracting the common cold or the flu.
The good news is that getting enough nutrients over the festive period is not difficult. Simply make sure you are eating a few fruits, nuts or vegetables each day. You can still have your Christmas treats but by eating these plant based foods as well you can ensure your body is not deprived of the nutrients it needs.
CHRISTMAS EXERCISE TIPS
1) Be Flexible
Exercising over Christmas is probably more difficult than any other time of the year. You have more social commitments (so less time to exercise) and the weather does not make outdoor exercise particularly appealing. Additionally, the increased consumption of alcohol probably leaves you with very little motivation to exercise.
Whilst you will not be be able to stick to your normal exercise routine over the holiday period, you can still fit some exercise in if you are flexible. For example, if you normally exercise outdoors but find the weather too cold, try working out at the gym instead. If you are not a fan of gyms then try an exercise DVD or Wii Fit. The more flexible you are, the more opportunities you will have to do some exercise.
2) Brave The Outdoors
Whilst the cold icy Christmas weather is not very suitable for traditional forms of exercise such as cycling or jogging, it does create other unique exercise opportunities. Sledding, ice skating and even snowball fights are all unique forms of exercise that can only be performed when the snow is here. So if you are willing to brave the outdoors, give these unique outdoor Christmas exercises a try.
3) Use Your Time Wisely
As discussed earlier in this article, your time is limited over the holiday season. You may not have a full 1 or 2 hours spare to complete your regular workout. However, short, regular bursts of activity can still help you fight the Christmas bulge. Just 25 minutes walking, 10 minutes cycling or 13 minutes jogging can burn 100 calories. 100 calories may not seem like much but if keep getting short, regular bursts of exercise throughout the week it can quickly add up to a much more substantial number of calories burned.
CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS
Fitness is probably not the first thing that springs to mind when you are buying your Christmas gifts. However, a fitness themed Christmas present is a brilliant way to introduce a friend or family member into the world of fitness. If you want to buy someone a fitness gift but are stuck for ideas just pick from the products below:
- Gym Bag.
- Gym Membership.
- Heart Rate Monitor.
- iPod (perfect for the fitness fanatic who still does not own an MP3 player).
- Nintendo Wii (perfect for getting couch potatoes and gamers some much needed exercise).
- Rocky Blu Ray.
- Skipping Rope.
- Slendertone System-Abs.
- Steamer (perfect for encouraging healthy eating).
- Weight Lifting Gloves.
- Yoga Mat.
CHRISTMAS MOOD TIPS
1) Get A Light Box
Christmas is normally believed to be a time of joy and happiness. However, you might be surprised to hear that during the festive period 17% of the UK population suffer from a form of winter depression called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It is caused by the lack of sunlight during the winter months. Fortunately, most types of SAD can be easily treated with a light box (a specially designed box that stimulates daylight). So if you are feeling the winter blues this year try using a light box.
2) Get Some Exercise
Exercise is not just a great way to burn calories. It also stimulates the release of endorphins and serotonin (2 mood boosting substances). So by doing exercise during the holiday season you can fight the Christmas bulge and keep your spirits high.
3) Make Sure You Sleep
The extra social commitments you have over Christmas make it very difficult to get a proper amount of sleep each night. Unfortunately, failing to get enough sleep can have a negative effect on your mood and make you feel grumpy and irritable. That is why over the festive period it is extra important to catch up on your sleep whenever you can. If you have a free evening, try to get to bed extra early. If you have a late night party coming up, try and fit in a nap beforehand. Maximising the amount of sleep you get over Christmas can help you stay positive for the full holiday season.
4) Try Some Mood Boosting Foods
Eating the right foods can have a hugely positive effect on your mood. Studies have shown that dark chocolate, nuts, salmon and tea can boost your mood and make you feel happier. So if you choose your foods carefully during the festive period you can avoid holiday weight gain and the winter blues.
Christmas is probably the most difficult time of year to stick to your fitness goals. Alcohol and high quality treats are a constant temptation, you have very little time to exercise and the gloomy weather has a negative impact on your motivation.
With this Free Fitness Tips Christmas Survival Guide I hope I have given you all the information you need to stay in touch with your fitness goals. Your fitness will probably suffer during the festive period but the little things you do can really add up. Following just a few tips on this list can help you make sure that all the good work you have done building up to Christmas does not go to waste.
Even if you do let yourself go during the festive period, do not beat yourself up. The main point of the festive period is to spend some quality time with your friends and family and relax after a long, hard year. Just make sure you come back even stronger in January and are ready to tackle the New Year head on.
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