Tis the season to be jolly…with Halloween over and Christmas in our sights, our social calendars are already filling up with awards nights, Christmas parties galore, dinners and drinks with friends and all the usual family events. It’s a time of indulgence but also a time when our routines can go out the window. The dark mornings and nights do nothing to encourage us outdoors either, but with so much rich food and drink being consumed it’s more important than ever to keep an eye on your fitness so you can enjoy your downtime and avoid heading into the new year with a few extra pounds. Here are some tips to help you stay on track:
Stick to the schedule
If you prefer working out in the evening, the silly season is likely to impact you most of all. The many Christmas dinners and drinks can get in the way of post-work workout. If this sounds like you, now is the time to put your workouts in the diary. Mondays and Tuesdays are often the quietest, so why not schedule a workout for one of these evenings. Put it the diary so you don’t forget when making plans.
If you can’t fit in your usual routine during the week, is there potential to fit in a workout during the day? Perhaps you could go for a run, swim or the gym during lunch. Can you cycle or walk to and from work to replace a lost workout?
Another option is to move your workouts to the morning. This might sound like the worst thing if you’re not a morning person, but much like the physical training you are doing, getting up early is all about training. Once you get into a routine it will become second nature. Start by leaving your phone/alarm on the other side of the room so you need to get out to turn it off and disable the snooze button!
We need to drink water every day, it’s central to our health and overall wellbeing. But, during the Christmas season when we tend to drink more alcohol than usual, it’s even more important! Set yourself a goal of drinking a glass of water between your drinks. If you’re in a round and you don’t want to miss out or mess with the system get a drink AND a water. It costs nothing extra and it will help with the recovery afterwards.
Alcohol is also an easy way to tot up the calories over the course of an evening. Below is a breakdown of some calorie counts per drink according to safefood.eu
|Glass of red wine (250mls)
|Glass of white wine (250mls)
|Glass of rose (250mls)
|Spirit & soft drink
|Spirit & diet soft drink
|Spirit & juice
|Pint of larger
|Pint of stout
Don’t think of me as the Grinch, I think everyone should enjoy some of the delights the season has to offer, but it’s about managing these. A danger for many is the workplace treats – boxes of biscuits and chocolates – that are on hand all day long. If you know you won’t be able to resist, then try to at least manage your consumption. Pick out four of your favourites early in the day and have them on your desk. That’s your allowance and you can eat them when you like but that’s it! This will make you more conscious of what you’re eating and help avoid absentmindedly eating a box of miniature sweets while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil.
Make exercise a new Christmas tradition
There are lots of events around the city that will have you feeling festive and fit. Why not make these a new tradition with friends or family? Some of these are also fundraisers, so you can feel twice as good for getting off the couch.
Santa Dash, Clontarf, Dublin
Dec 2 at 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
5k and 10k. For kids and adults.
12ks of Christmas, Kildare
Dec 8 at 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Goal Mile, nationwide
Fat Turkey Run, Sutton, Dublin
Dec 29, Dec 27 at 11:00 am – 5:00pm