The festive season is fabulous, bringing with it a hectic social calendar – so if you’re struggling to find the time to work out, try scheduling it to be the first thing you do that day. This way it’s out of your mind for the rest of the day, meaning you won’t be forced to choose between Christmas drinks or the gym.
It’s important to make clear achievable objectives – Such as 30 minutes of exercise a day, (or select days off from indulging!) This will feed your motivation, keeping you on track – avoiding that sinking feeling of disappointment.
Buddy up – get motivated with a friend or colleague. Go to a class on your way in to work or take an active lunch break together. You’re more likely to stick to a plan with the knowledge you have someone in the saddle with you! Just choose someone likely to commit!
Write it down! – Putting your goals down on paper will increase the likelihood of you achieving them and by giving your workout the same level of importance as a festive celebration, you’re less likely to bail on your plans.
Enjoy it! – Making the right exercise selection for you will give you the best chance of hitting those goals. There are plenty of options out there and easy access to a wealth of classes, trainers and online material.
We asked Personal Fitness Trainer Sophie from @inner-being-london a few questions to help us through December;
Is there any harm in stopping exercise over the holiday period and picking it back up with the New Year?
It’s okay to rest and take time out to relax and switch off. In fact, as the year draws to a close it is a perfect time to do just that. Work-life stress can accumulate and raise cortisol levels, so stepping away from all of that allows your body to repair and realign. Though, it doesn’t mean you need to be sedentary. Keen gym bunnies or those just starting out on your fitness journey, it is okay to remove yourself from the usual pattern of exercise. But there are many alternative methods to keeping active until you get back to it. This can be equally as rewarding – so get inventive and experimental!
Would you say that exercising helps to combat stress and anxiety?
Absolutely – exercise is a great stress reliever. For me it’s the best. Research suggests that anxiety is reduced via a combination of factors. Primarily endorphins, the body’s feel good chemical, which is elevated every time we exercise – it’s that buzzy feeling after you’ve finished a workout! If you know, you know! You may also feel your self-esteem improve and your mood is spritelier, making you more likely to return to exercise and stick to it!
Are there any quick fix workouts we can do at home which burn the optimal calories, if we don’t have time to get to the gym?
If you’re pressed for time, there are great ways to squeeze in a session at home or outside. My workout of choice would be a HIIT session: 30 seconds of flat out effort – 15 seconds recovery, aiming to get as many reps in during the 30 seconds as possible. At the end of the circuit rest for 1 minute then repeat 4-5 times.
Choose a selection of these exercises: