Finding balance at Christmas

Written By: Hope Island Physiotherapist, Claudia Wharton. 

As the end of the year quickly approaches and we start getting into holiday mode, how do we balance enjoying ourselves with taking good care of our health?

Keeping active over the Christmas period not only impacts your physical health but also can help to regulate stress, regulate sleep, improve mood and your mental health. Realistically, you won’t be able to hit the gym every day or avoid the occasional treat. Here are a few suggestions to help you start 2023 feeling fit, healthy, and well (while still enjoying the festive season!)

Stay flexible

You may not have the time to complete your usual daily exercise program so why not substitute those missed days with other forms of activity. Involve your family and move your body with a game of tennis, backyard cricket, a swim or even a family walk. Some movement is better than nothing and it will make it easier to get back to it when January comes.

Try exercising first thing in the morning

Switch up your usual routine and try exercising first thing before guests arrive or before you talk yourself out of moving your body. This may improve your mood and energy for the rest of the day.

Try quick workouts

A 20 minute high intensity interval training session (HITT) can be a very effective way to fit in a workout during this busy period. Limited equipment is required and often can be done with just your body weight. HITT workouts are intense and may not be for everyone. If you are unsure, speak to your health professional.

Don’t let guilt ruin Christmas

Remember, your health and fitness journey doesn’t have to be all or nothing – you can find the balance to enjoy the treats and experiences you love whilst moving your body and nourishing it too.

Make a plan

Once Christmas has passed, try to ease yourself slowly back into your old routine. Start by tapering off the indulgence and begin to exercise again with a view to building back up to your pre-Christmas routine. Put some dates in the diary for getting back into exercise whether that is in the gym, going for a walk, or having a swim. Whatever your fitness thing is, try to make yourself get back to it.

You don’t have to do MORE to make up for the festive season.

This is rarely sustainable and is more likely to cause injury by over training, slowing your progress.  Your regular routine is the best option with the best long term results. The same goes for diet. It doesn’t mean over dieting to make up for Christmas. This doesn’t work and is not sustainable.

Keep hydrated!

With the extra alcohol and time spent outdoors in the sun during the festive season it is vital we all stay hydrated. Keeping hydrated is crucial for digesting food, organ health and regulating your body temperature just to name a few.