When you are working hard in the gym, attending regular fitness classes and keeping a watchful eye on your diet, Christmas and all its gastronomic delights can really throw you off course.
The festive celebrations are wonderfully fun; however, late nights, rich foods laden with salt, sugar, fat and calories, and the dreaded alcohol can all leave you feeling less than fantastic and desperately wanting to return to your normal, healthy lifestyle.
Seeing as Christmas is almost upon us and you can no doubt already relate to the aftereffects of parties, socialising, eating and drinking, here are some tips to help you through the festivities and aid a speedier recovery from the merry excesses:
When family and friends fill your social diary, you may find getting to the gym is tricky. Running outdoors, however, is a good stopgap and offers an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise. Running at an average pace for 30-minutes can burn in the region of 300 calories. Plus, the fresh air and stream of endorphins will lift your mood, you will find you will sleep better at night (alcohol and chocolate are stimulants, which can keep you awake), and you will feel strong, fit, toned and healthy, too.
Heading outdoors for a stroll after your Christmas lunch may be a tradition; however, increase the pace and your body will benefit. Power walking for 30-minutes will burn in the region of 150 to 200 calories. It will also increase your circulation and boost your body’s cardiovascular system. Furthermore, power walking regularly will tone the muscles in your legs and buttocks, making it a perfect year-round exercise.
Escape over the Christmas break and enjoy some ‘you time’ in our swimming pool, sauna and steam room. Swimming is one of the best full body workouts; it utilises almost every muscle in your body without putting any undue strain on your joints. It also offers a perfect mix of both cardiovascular work and strength training. Water is approximately 800 times denser than air, so your muscles are continually under resistance. In addition, follow your session in the swimming pool with some time relaxing in the sauna and steam room. The warmth can help to release stress by loosening your muscles, and it can also boost your immune system which is particularly beneficial at this time of year.
Stretching, twisting and gently moving your body after you have overeaten can help to support your digestion and release toxins. Yoga and Pilates are ideal and offer a safe, yet effective, way to work your body and help your digestive system.
Remember to take care of your body over the festive season. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and herbal tea as this will help to counteract the effects of alcohol and salt. Try to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day, and aim to steer clear of consuming too much meat and saturated fat, where possible.