Between seeing family and friends, Christmas parties, and indulging in tasty treats and boozy delights, staying active during the festive season can be a significant challenge for many.
Many people become worried about losing their momentum when the Christmas holidays come around. There is no pressure. Even the most dedicated athletes struggle to stay motivated. Remember, you can still enjoy Christmas and stay healthy and active at the same time.
Here is our advice on how you can stay motivated and active over the holidays.
Think outside the box
You might not have enough time to stick to your regular routine, or you might not have the equipment nearby to do so, particularly if you are travelling to see family and friends. It's time to think outside the box. A quick home workout with very little equipment can be just as effective and a great way to keep active. Research has shown that a HIIT workout can produce the same health benefits as moderate-intensity exercise, in just half the time.
Simply adding more movement into your day can help you stay on track. There are plenty of ways to stay active, in and out of the house. Walking the dog, cleaning the house, putting up decorations (yes that's right) will all get you moving and increase your heart rate. Look for opportunities throughout your day. It's the perfect time to change things up and maybe even try something new.
Exercise can be more enjoyable when you include your family and friends. Change your mindset this year and take advantage of the quality time you are spending with them, and form a Christmas tradition.
Whether it's a Christmas Day walk after lunch, a Boxing Day hike, or a New Year's treasure hunt. If you come from a family of athletes, a mini sports day may just be the perfect Christmas tradition for you - the winner gets the extra slice of Christmas cake! Unleash your inner child.
Take part in a challenge
Sometimes just the competitive nature of a challenge can be enough to motivate you to stay active. Start a challenge with your friends - who can run the most miles or walk the most steps in one week? You decide. Taking part in a challenge provides some accountability and if there's a prize at the end, even better.
Schedule in time
Exercise may be easier to come by when you have it planned into your schedule, especially during this busy time of year. Stressing over an extra activity into your day will only demotivate you more. Block out your time, this does not mean you have to put by hours in the day to go for a long ride or a 10km run. As little as 30 minutes of exercise a day can help reduce stress, burn extra calories and boost your mood.
This does not necessarily have to be set in stone, but it may help optimise your time when your schedule is stacked. Having a visual view of your day can ensure a better understanding of what exactly you can fit into your schedule and how much time to put by for exercise.
Don't forget to enjoy yourself
Be sure to set yourself realistic goals to work towards and ensure you are doing an activity you enjoy. The last thing you want at Christmas is to force yourself to work out just because you may feel guilty for over-indulging, or you are trying to make up for 'missed' workouts. Do not be too hard on yourself.