Food & Drink

Merry fit-mas! Embark on smart diet and exercise journey NOW to enjoy happy and healthy New Year

As the countdown to Christmas begins the geese may indeed be getting fat but with the impending festivities most party-goers will want to look their svelte-like best.

Shimmying into that little black dress or cutting a dapper figure in a slim-fit suit ahead of the office Christmas party may be on the minds of those looking to impress over the festive period.

Instead of sticking to a pre-Christmas detox and then indulging in a gluttonous Christmas binge, why not embrace healthy life-style choices now?

As a personal trainer I see many ruling out the idea of getting or keeping fit at Christmas – instead promising to rectify festive greed with that whole-hearted New Year’s resolution.

People traditionally earmark January as the starting point to change their life, shift those holiday pounds and clamber back on the fitness bandwagon.

Come February and March the once heaving gyms thin out leaving only the dedicated ploughing on with their fitness regimes.

One of the biggest barriers to exercise is motivation.

One of the biggest barriers to exercise is motivation.

Unrealistic targets coupled with mounting pressure sees that champagne-induced promise go up in smoke.

To ensure this doesn’t happen create a set of realistic goals that can be achieved. Ease yourself in with smaller targets and as you hit each one increase the goal.

Every accomplishment in the gym, and on the scales, will spur you on to bigger and better things.

Working out doesn’t have to mean hours sweating on a treadmill – a 20-30 minute session of high interval training is more beneficial then 60 minutes at a steady, consistent pace.

As long as you’re prepared to work hard and put the effort in there’s no reason why you can’t fit a super workout into a short space of time.

If timing is proving to be an issue and you can’t make it to the gym, rather than lounge on the sofa make use of your living room and stick on a fitness DVD.

While changes are made inside the gym they can happen even before you set a trainer-clad foot in one.

There’s no need to be all bah humbug and sacrifice your favourite Christmas goodies, but simply watching what and how much you eat won’t do any harm.

Perhaps save rummaging at the bottom of several super-sized chocolate tins and knocking back the booze for certain days and embracing healthier choices on others.

Don’t feel obliged to have more simply because it’s Christmas – make sure you enjoy but in moderation.

It’s not how much you eat and exercise between Christmas and New Year that counts, it’s what you do between New Year and Christmas that really makes the difference.

Picture courtesy of UNE Photos via Flickr, with thanks

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