THE FESTIVE SEASON has kicked off and for most of us that can mean a little bit more indulgence.
Like I always emphasise, this is the time of year when you should enjoy yourself with good food and drink and use the holidays to switch off and spend quality time with family and friends — but my advice is always to maintain balance.
There’s no reason why you should fall completely off the wagon, and as is always the case a little bit of planning will help ensure you stay on some sort of track over the next few weeks; you don’t want to have to start all over again in January!
Below is a quick checklist that I stick to myself and I hope you can take something from it to apply to your own lifestyle and routine:
In last week’s article I highlighted the advantage of starting your day on a good note and particularly at this time of year when we can pick up colds and flues quite easily.
Fresh smoothies, multivitamin drinks or even just a glass of water is an ideal way to start the day.
Every morning in December I have been starting my day with a kick-start smoothie to ensure I am getting some of my nutrients in early as let’s be honest most of us get through the entire Christmas period without eating much fruit and veg.
Below is a really simple breakfast smoothie recipe which takes 5 minutes to make and ticks all the boxes with all the right macronutrients you need.
- Handful of raspberries
- Handful of broccoli
- Handful of pineapple
- 2-3 ice cubes
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon of nut butter
- 1 and half cup of almond milk or water
- 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein power
Method: Simply add all the ingredients into the blender.
This is the time of year when the gym floor gets a little quieter, class numbers drop and overall people don’t give as much thought or time to exercise — but you should always maintain some form of workout.
It doesn’t need to be four times a week nor does it mean you have to hit the gym; you can get in a workout at home or simply go out for a long walk over the weekend.
I am a big fan of home workouts. You don’t need any fancy equipment nor do you have to leave your home.
Below is a really effective 20 minute home workout that covers everything from mobility work to some upper and lower body exercises which will break a light sweat.
We just don’t have as much time as we might normally do in December so it’s probably difficult to squeeze in a 60-minute session — in this instance, high intensity workouts are something you should look to add into your week.
All you need is a 10-20 minute window and doing these workouts will help keep your metabolism high, maintain your fitness levels and help burn off those excess calories over the Christmas break.
Below is an example of one of the HIIT workouts I have planned for this week:
Below I have included a few more of my top tips that will help you over the Christmas period:
- Embrace nights out and enjoy them — don’t dread them in fear of setting your fitness goals backwards.
- Choose which gatherings you want to go to — you don’t need to be attending every social event.
- Stay well hydrated with water during and around nights that involve alcohol.
- Clearer spirits and lighter beers can be better options than darker beers, sugary mixers and ciders — a pint of beer has about 220kcals, a vodka and soda water has about 80kcals.
- Avoid fast food at the end of the night. It’s an easy way to pick up an extra 1,000 calories that you’ll barely remember!
- Get out and move the next day after a night full of festive cheer.
- Cut loose a little this time of the year but just don’t go overboard; moderation is the key for the month that’s in it.
Along with these tips above you can find out a few more in this video below:
The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):