Weekly column by fitness experts Adam Wright and Jacqui Watson for the Waterford News & Star, in association with Kingfisher Fitness Club
I HOPE you are enjoying doing the squat challenge I gave you two weeks ago, you are half way through already, wow.
Back to this week, with Christmas Day this week, it is the usual tradition to enjoy the time with close family and indulge a little. But we need to ensure we enjoy the holidays within reason. This year will be challenging, filled with worry, doubt and uncertainty as Covid-19 is still very much with us and our sick and elderly relatives are still at risk, even at this joyous time of year. We just need to get through the holidays as best, and as positively as we can. We cannot control much this year, but what we can control is our food and alcohol intake, our exercise and our general wellbeing over the holidays.
With an abundance of chocolates, biscuits and wine, to preparing Christmas dinner and all its trimmings, it is the time of year to relax and indulge. But it is also important not to over indulge this holiday season. It is a hard time of year to get through, especially for those who struggled all the year previous to keep in shape with all the gym and pool closures, the loss of motivation for the Zoom classes and online workouts at home, so let’s bare all this in mind as we close down the laptops and park up the car for the holidays.
‘Maybe make a plan to get back to eating healthier, walking or even back to the gym on the 27th, what harm can it do?’
We associate Christmas with over indulgence and subsequent weight gain. But don’t let these things consume you. We can still have a little of what we fancy without having to go overboard. Most importantly try to enjoy an active Christmas, have your treats and maybe involve the family in a walk in the afternoon. It is great when the younger children in the family get bikes from Santa, this encourages everyone to get out and test the bikes, getting some much needed fresh air. Getting any way active is the key not gaining excess weight over the holidays.
Be aware of treats, for example one tin of roses, which sit on every table in every house over Christmas, contains 10,000 calories (five times the average calorie consumption of one adult).
You don’t have to stitch your mouth shut over the holidays but we need to be aware of what we put into our mouths. A great way of staying on top of what and when we treat ourselves to is to plan your “bad days”, for example 24th/25th/26th are the most important days over the Christmas holidays. Maybe make a plan to get back to eating healthier, walking or even back to the gym on the 27th, what harm can it do? None, it will keep you focused and avoid over indulging and gaining a dress size.
On Christmas day try to opt for the healthier breakfast and dinner options, it is a long day, which results in constant picking and munching on treats. Stock up on veggies at dinner and meat too. A good breakfast can stabilize your blood sugar levels for the day, well at least until dinner time, reducing the snacking. Remember to also drink plenty of water throughout the holidays. Snacking on popcorn is a great little tip to keep you satisfied, not bored, and happy over the holidays. Remember when you are off, those long times during the day you may normally spend in work, you are now sitting down and eating at peculiar times to normal, don’t upset your body clock too much, as this is when the damage is done, your body won’t be used to taking in so much and at the different times, this will slow down your metabolism and store as fat. Occupy yourself with family, the kids/ grandkids or a good book to keep the mind active and away from the tin of roses.
My most important tip is HAVE A CRACKING CHRISTMAS! Enjoy the time off, spending it with those close to you that you have not seen as much of as normal this year. Don’t get too weighed down or worried about gaining weight over the long holiday. If you follow my tips above you will enjoy the season and all it brings while staying on top of your health and fitness. Christmas is really only one week out of the year, try limit the over indulging and get back to a normal eating regime as soon as you can.
So, relax, keep active and have a wonderful, healthy and joyous Christmas everyone, we need the joy this year more than ever.
x Jacqui x