As the year winds down and we prepare to relax with family and friends over hams, turkeys, pavlovas and champagne, it’s important not only to prepare your body and health to deal with these excesses but also to prevent a sluggish start to a brand new year. Don’t wait for your New Year resolutions to kick in, start preventing that weight gain from now. Holidays are a fantastic way to start an exercise routine as work and deadlines are no longer an excuse to delay it.
Anita Hobson-Powell,Executive Officer at Exercise & Sports Science Australia’s (ESSA) says, “it’s easy to implement small changes each day during the holidays to beat the Christmas bulge”.
Anita shares the following top tips from ESSA for preventing kilos from piling on during the festive season:
1. Stick with your routine – don’t quit just because it’s Christmas! Staying active will make you feel better and make your life much easier in the New Year.
2. Stay the course – don’t try to lose weight in December. Do give yourself a break! Just stay on course and work to maintain your weight by managing calorie intake and physical activity.
3. Seize the moment – don’t be thwarted by a busy holiday schedule that eliminates exercise. Seize chances for unexpected exercise. When shopping, take the stairs or walk up and down escalators. Or, when you arrive at a party, try parking as far away as possible for a short power walk.
4. Explore your holiday destination – don’t fall into the vacation-destination trap of lounging and over-indulging. Do integrate exercise into your daily schedule, even if you’re away from home. Walking is one of the best ways to discover a new place and to keep active.
5. Play with your children – Playing with your children can be a great way to increase your heart rate – while having fun. There are so many games you can play together – cricket, Frisbee, tag, swimming, bike riding and more.
6. Reduce your stress – don’t let Christmas be synonymous with stress. Use exercise as an outlet for stress relief. Exercise can improve general happiness and provide relief from feelings of being overwhelmed.
7. Dance! – don’t just sit on the sidelines. Enjoy yourself at the next party by getting up for a dance with friends. It’s a great way to have a quick workout while simultaneously being festive.
8. Go see the sights – don’t let the holidays slip by without taking time to enjoy their colours! Do plan a night with your family to view Christmas lights and decorations. Many suburbs have entire streets decorated, and you can walk the streets as a family, enjoying the beautiful summer weather and festive, twinkling atmosphere.
“Our tips are not just ‘nice-to-dos’, given enough time or motivation; in fact, they’re easy to implement and should be considered ‘must-dos’ if we want to get 2013 off to a great and healthy start”, emphasises Anita.
If you need help getting started, find your local accredited exercise physiologist, by visiting www.essa.org.au. Medicare may also fund treatment sessions if you suffer from a chronic health condition. Please see a GP for referral.
Top image: myyogaonline
Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) is the peak professional body for exercise and sports science in Australia, and provides national leadership and advocacy on key issues. ESSA supports its 3,500+ members and the community by fostering excellence in professional practice, education, training and research.