Christmas party season. A time when mince pies become a major food group, and exercise becomes a distant memory. It doesn’t have to be this way though. Read on for some tips on making December workouts happen, and see in the new year healthy…ish.
1. Use your morning commute
Running or cycling to work may well be the only way to fit in some exercise when your evenings are taken up with Christmas parties and trips to the pub. It will need a bit of extra planning to make sure your towel and spare clothes are in the right place, but once you’re in the habit, it’s easy.
2. Reclaim your lunch break
If your mornings are for snoozing rather than exercising (we hear you), then why not reclaim your lunch break? Using your full hour break once a week can make a big difference, and it’s plenty of time for a 5K jog or a quick gym class
3. Get it out the way on a Saturday morning
Carve out some time before the weekend kicks off. Saturday morning is a great time for a quick visit to the gym, Parkrun, or a swim in your local pool before the weekend is in full swing. It’ll refresh you if you’ve indulged the night before, and you can eat mince pies safe in the knowledge that you’ve given already got your sweat on that day.
4. Wear the right kit
As winter bites, wear warm layers – but don’t overdress. Wearing too many clothes can actually make you more susceptible to hypothermia as lots of damp, sweaty layers can make you colder. A good rule of thumb is to dress for 10 degrees warmer than it actually is, as you’ll heat up within a few minutes of exercising.
5. Use exercise to explore a new area
Grab your running gear or your bike, get a map and head off somewhere you haven’t been before. Us humans love a bit of adventure and amidst all the festive fun, heading off grid might be just what you need.
6. Have something to train towards
Book an event for February or March of the next year. This is far enough away that you still have plenty of time to prepare, but still feels close enough to focus the mind and banish the excuses. There are a number of 10Ks, half marathons and a few duathlons early on in the year, check out findarace.com to find one near you. If you can’t wait that long for your next event, then sign up to a Santa Dash – the festive 5k fun runs that happen all over the country in the run up to Christmas. They are all for charity, and you have to dress as Father Christmas. Could it get more festive? Click here to find your local race.
*Picture Nick Ponty/Glasgow Santa Dash