I’m not going to tell you fab people not to toast various glasses of bubbles this festive season and indulge in all the good things…because that would be cruel and this is the season to be kind. Festive fun only comes around once a year so heck yes, let’s make the most of it! On the flipside, there are ways to balance the bod so we don’t all waddle into January. Aside from busting out of our bikinis or boardshorts, festive fatigue is something that can hit us without warning and send us crying into our egg nog.
So put the nog down and put your sneakers on, we’re here to tell you how to stay fit and healthy over the silly season.
Try Something New
Aspire Group Owner and Head Trainer Lloyd Johnson uses the break between Christmas and New Year to plan and implement new training styles and methods. So while your gym is closed and your trainer is concocting evil plans to make your muscles cry, why not tick a different form of fitness off your bucket list? Start your day with a peaceful morning walk along the beach followed by a stand up paddle board session. Meet your friends for a hike or a bike ride on a scenic trail you haven’t been on before. If you’re struggling for time, try a 20-minute workout on Youtube. Lloyd has the perfect Christmas treat for y’all, hit up the simple but challenging session he put together here. Thanks Lloyd…we think (#byebyemincepie).
Re-think The Morning After
Confession time. Last night was spent with one too many mojitos and your resulting lethargy this morning makes you want to retreat to the couch and put Elf on loop. Alas, the show must go on as Santa’s sleigh slows for nobody. Lloyd believes the best hangover cure requires rehydration with water or an isotonic drink, an ocean dunk and a short and sharp exercise session. “Force yourself to get up and out of the house and stop feeling sorry for yourself. Get stuck into a short and sharp 20-minute functional session, incorporating mobility and bodyweight exercises like chin ups, push ups, dips and squats before wrapping things up with a good stretch and recovery," he said.
If it’s your belly that's filled with remorse rather than your head, Nutrition IQ Founder Dr Nicola Lowth says it’s imperative to tune into your body and appetite after big social events. “If you’re not hungry, then perhaps you’d benefit from giving your digestion system a mini break and wait until the hunger pangs strike to eat again. Then you can arrive at your next Christmas function with a tummy ready to eat!” she said.
Choose Seasonal Treats
While it can be tempting to face plant the plentiful cheese platters continually placed under your nose at this time of year, simply choosing only your favourite seasonal delights can keep your fitness goals in check. Don’t bother mindlessly sucking on a candy cane or gorging on food you wouldn’t ordinarily be tempted by just cos it's there. “Fill half your plate with fresh salads or vegetable based dishes and the other half with exciting festive foods,” Nicola recommends. “There are so many delicious summer salad recipes that taste fabulous and berries are in their prime at this time of year so you can make a dessert that isn’t loaded with sugar.” If you need to take a plate to a party, Nicola recommends taking a salad topped with pomegranate seeds, feta and mint, which looks pretty and tastes delish or for dessert, take berry kebabs drizzled with chocolate. Nom.
Prioritise Down Time
The key to staying on track with your health over the holidays is more to do with what happens when you aren’t socialising. Unless your calendar is booked out for breakfast, lunch and dinner over the next few weeks (in which case, we need to have a little conversation about saying no from time to time, mmm-kay?), there’ll be quiet pockets you can fill with the grounding routine of fresh, healthy food, exercise sessions and catch-up sleeps. Another way to counteract the crazy is using your down time to take stock and feel grateful for the year that has past. The Wellness Web Holistic Kinesiologist Steph Einhorn says staying committed to something just for you every day is crucial. “Try not to say ‘I’m so busy’ or ‘it’s all so hectic’ as it can make things seem overwhelming. Instead remember it is a fun and happy time of year and just be present at each event." Eating well, exercising and staying in the moment means when you get to party time, it will be all the more enjoyable.
There’s something about the glittering unknown of the year ahead that whispers “make something special with me,” right? It may be a time of celebrating the year that has been with numerous glasses of bubbles, but there’s also the delicious jolt of motivation that accompanies making some big fitness goals for the fast-approaching 2016. If you’ve missed a few barre classes in the lead up to January 1, don’t lose hope, now is the time to dream big and plan your journey to get there. Run five-kilometres or a marathon, do an open water swim, master a headstand in yoga class, rock out 10 chin-ups in a row or learn to hula hoop. Picture yourself at the end of next year patting yourself on the back for your fitness greatness. Work backwards from there with mini-goals along the way and 2016 will be stamped all over with legendary status. Challenge yo self!
Looking for more fitness inspo? Check out Your Perth Fitness Bucket List!
Image credit: Ryan Murphy