It's easy to slip into the mindset of “I'll just get back on track in the new year” when thinking about our health and fitness in December. But, think of it this way, how much better will you feel going into the new year having not completely ruined all your progress made this year?
Yes, enjoy yourself - eat those extra few chocolates and mince pies. But, don't just give up all of your healthy habits just “because it's Christmas”.
Here are my top festive health tips that will help you feel great going into the new year.
Exercise in the morning
Have you ever had the intention to exercise in the morning and then can't be bothered to get out of bed and think “I'll do it later”? Then later never comes? Me too. At first it can seem like a struggle to pull yourself out of bed, especially with the dark mornings, but getting up early and doing exercise in the morning will set you up for success. Usually, for most people the mornings are when you have the most amount of uninterrupted time. If we plan to exercise later in the day usually something ends up getting in the way.
We're running some online group sessions at 8AM (getting it done early!) over the Christmas break between 21st December-1st January. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to join us!
Unfortunately, I don't mean with wine (sorry!). Most of the time we mistake hunger for thirst, leading us to go and search the cupboards for snacks. This leads us to eat more rather than drink more. When you don't drink enough water your body can receive mixed signals on hunger. Get into the habit of drinking water at regular intervals, not just a large amount at certain times. My best tip is to have a water bottle with you throughout the day, then it acts as an automatic cue to drink more. This will make sure you're only snacking when you're hungry.
I'd say this year more so than any we've all spent more time sitting down and being inside. Use the time over Christmas to be more active and get outside for walks - even if it's just a short one. You'll not only be increasing your daily activity levels you'll also be getting outside in daylight hours which will make you feel more alert and help you sleep better at night.
Get some more rest
Christmas is a great time to get some more sleep and rest. See this time as an opportunity to reset your body's internal clock and build some healthy sleeping habits. I did another article on a relaxing bedtime routine earlier in the year. My one tip for sleep is to keep a regular sleep schedule. By going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day, your body will learn to adjust to its new rhythm and you'll feel more rested when you wake. If you do end up having a later night than planned, an early afternoon nap (before 3PM) can be used to increase your rest and recharge your energy for the rest of the day.
One last point to remember, don't beat yourself up if you have some days where you're not as active or eat half a box of Celebrations! We're human after all.