Christmas is a time for celebration and with that comes a whole load of drinking, feasting and well, enjoying a merry old time! However, overdoing it at Christmastime might not just give you a bad case of bloat, it can also put your health goals completely out of whack. Of course, I’m not going to tell you to avoid every mince pie, Christmas pudding and glass of mulled wine – but there are some handy ways to keep your body ticking over during the Christmas period so you can get right back on track after the festive season.
Drink and be merry
Sadly, this isn’t about the mulled wine and eggnog! Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout Christmas. Water allows your body to process and flush out toxins. Your body will be in a much better place to handle that last pig in blanket if it’s properly hydrated. As a bonus, it may also help keep the Christmas hangovers at bay too, or at least lessen the symptoms!
If you don’t enjoy just plain water, try herbal teas or infusing your water with fruit. Oranges are particularly good this season and they’ll also give your immune system a boost (because, let’s face it, who wants to spend Christmas with a cold?).
Keep moving after Christmas dinner
I know, it can be tempting to just crash out on the sofa when you’ve had a huge Christmas dinner. But a little movement can help with your digestion, and also burn off some of the pudding! So take a walk with your family, or have a game of catch with the kids.
Exercise the week between Christmas and New Years
Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean that your health and fitness journey gets to take a break. Even one workout during the holiday period is better than nothing. As a bonus, if you’re in the city during this time, most of your fellow gym-goers are likely out of London. Meaning you get the whole gym floor to yourself!
No gym? Not a problem. There are loads of bodyweight exercises you can do at home, some even compact enough to do in your cramped old childhood bedroom. Lunges, squats, burpees all don’t require weights to work up a sweat. Kill two turkeys with one stone and do compound exercises – think squat to crawl out, lunge jump burpees, in and out squats, mountain climbers into kick sits…the list is endless!
Healthy swaps at the Christmas dinner table
The Christmas dinner table is laden with tempting treats (as it should). However, to avoid any tummy trouble and to keep on track with your fitness, there are some healthy swaps you can make on your Christmas plate. Take more of the turkey breast and avoid the thighs, wings, and skin. Turkey breast meat is a great source of protein and it’s lean. Instead of loading up with the roasties, consider having a side of sweet potato which gives you much more nutritional bang for your buck. Load up on the veggies, and consider making condiments like the cranberry sauce and gravy yourself instead of having shop bought versions that can be laden with salt and sugar.
For drinks, try to limit the alcohol intake to a few glasses with dinner. Or at least intersperse them with plenty of water and non-alcoholic drinks. You can also make your drinks last longer, consider soda water with your white wine or a low alcohol version of your usual beer. Oh, and try to have just a glass of mulled wine and eggnog, or avoid them completely as they are crammed with sugar.
Also, avoid snacking on high-fat things like crisps and chocolate during the day as a handful here and there can soon add up.
Christmas is still a time to be merry and spend time with your family and friends. But your health and fitness journey doesn’t have to be derailed because of it. With a few conscious decisions during the day, you can still have a good time and enjoy great company – just without the gut-busting and bloat that often accompanies it.
And as we’re already talking about it, Jays Way Personal Training would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
If you are thinking about personal training in the New Year, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to discuss your health goals for 2018.