Tips for staying active over Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s easy to coast into the end of the year, swept along in a tide of mulled wine. Whilst we are the first to advocate enjoying the holiday season, our physio team have come up with some reasons that it’s important for you to keep active over the festive period…

5 reasons to stay active

  1. If you stop exercising altogether, it can be a slippery slope and hard to get back on track. Research suggests that if you take a 4 week break from exercise, it will take you 10 weeks to return to your pre-break fitness level
  2. Being active protects against seasonal anxiety disorder. So if you sweat more, you will be better equipped to manage or overcome it.
  3. The more you exercise, the more you can eat and drink. According to this article on the Independent the average Briton consumes a staggering 6,000 calories on Christmas Day. (That’s a lot of exercise!)
  4. Exercising before tucking into a big meal shifts energy burn towards fat burn. If you tuck into a big meal without exercising, then you’ll mainly burn carbohydrates which means that fat storage will increase.
  5. A sudden reduction in exercise can cause tendinosis, which will cause swelling and pain of a tendon.

That’s all well and good. But how do we put this into practice? The ESPH Fitness Team have a few ideas…

4 ways to build activity into your family Christmas

  1. Try to approach everything in moderation. Don’t deprive yourself of the things you would like to have, but limit it to two days (Christmas Day and Boxing Day) and then get back on track with diet and exercise.
  2. Aim to get out for 30 minutes of healthy activity each day. You could disguise them as Christmas activities – walks with family & friends, local scavenger hunt, building snowmen – these all count!
  3. Parkrun will be running 5km events across the country on Christmas Day, so check out where your nearest one is and challenge your family, to walk, jog or run 5km and earn your Christmas feast.
  4. Get some peace and quiet by heading out for a run or to the gym. This could mean some you-time away from the noise and chaos of family time at Christmas.

Ultimately, exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and being happy is what the holidays are all about. We wish you a healthful Christmas and New Year!

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