Trying to squeeze a visit to the gym between wrapping presents, cooking, socialising and maybe a Christmas nativity too can be a challenge. It’s a time when many exercisers, even normally committed regular ones may come unstuck. This Christmas let’s keep fit not fat!
The day arrives and things get worse, it can be a continuous flow of food and drink. Well it’s rude to turn down that mince pie that Uncle Dave brought or another glass of the mulled wine that Granny J created. Someone has to make a start on the chocolate mountain and who said Lindt chocolate ball?
But staying active over Christmas is so valuable; it’ll keep those extra calories at bay and it’s not just the physical benefits. It’ll also help deal with the mental stress that this time of year can bring. Result = you’ll be in a more energised, balanced and relaxed mood to enjoy all the festivities.
(A little) discipline is needed
Keeping moving at this time of year may require a little planning and discipline, but you’ll be thankful in the New Year..yes really. So how to keep some exercise going in amongst all the chaos? We’ve come up with a few simple ways to keep both your physical and mental health in check.
The biggest perceived barrier to exercise is ‘I haven’t got time’ well over Christmas you may actually have more time, as you’ve (hopefully) got some time off work. You just need to get a little organised!
Top tips for keeping active
On your own
- Get up a little earlier than the rest of the household (sorry but no one’s going to miss you) and get your exercise in before anyone even stirs and think how smug you’ll feel too!
- It’s about intensity rather than length, so a 30 minute run or walk / run if that’s more your style can hit the target. Just don’t go too easy on yourself as remember you’re only working out for half an hour
- Rather exercise inside; well there are loads of no-kit workouts for free on YouTube or Facebook that may tick the box. There are aerobic workouts, HIIT, dynamic yoga…ok you won’t have the great motivation of our fitness crew….but don’t let your technique slack…or what would the guys and gals say?
- Fancy a little less structured workout, well get your favourite tunes on and just dance. Fifteen or twenty minutes of high energy moving should help.
Getting family and friends involved
- Check out some old computer consoles that may be lurking in a cupboard. Got a Wii console well that’s a great way to get everyone involved and you’ll be the cool aunt or uncle… retro is very on trend!
- Get out for a walk with a friend or family – maybe ask a neighbour if you can borrow their four legged friend. There’s nothing like a lively dog to get you moving!
- Got kids young or old, well what about some wide games…who says you can only play rounders in the summer? It may be a time when there are lots of people around so perfect for some team games
- Got a bike….then get it out and go for a ride. If you haven’t got any cycle trails near you then the roads are often quieter at this time of year. If you’re out with kids keep the cycle to daylight hours, and bright colours are a good idea whatever time of day
- There are lots of outdoor ice rinks at this time of year, skating is great fun for all ages, and a fantastic aerobic work-out. Locally there’s an ice rink in Nottingham, as part of their Winter Wonderland as well as one at the Market Place in Derby.
Our leisure centres are closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day but open again from the 27th to 31st December. Why not take the opportunity to try something different rather than your regular gym routine?
- A game of squash (we’ve just refreshed our courts) or badminton at Chilwell Olympia
- A family swim at Bramcote Leisure centre and adults you could also relax in the spa afterwards
- A game of badminton or table tennis at Kimberley Leisure Centre or a swim in the main pool
Please check our Christmas opening hours and give us a call before travelling to check availability for the sessions.
Wishing you a very happy Christmas, and hope you’ll find time to tick something off the list. If you’re sitting there reading this, feet up and mince pie and glass of baileys (my Christmas tipple of choice) in hand then don’t worry….as New Year and it’s resolutions are just around the corner!
Cathy, L Leisure