You don't have to completely revamp your fitness routine, or sit crying in front of the turkey as you eat a plateful of salad this Christmas, in order to get fit. Find how to make some small but effective changes to your life to feel healthier and look better.
Bear in mind that it doesn't matter if you break up your exercise routine into smaller chunks (always a bonus for the easily tired or bored amongst us). You might choose to get off the bus a stop early to get 20 minutes of walking in before you get home, or turn the music up and dance around like a banshee for 15 minutes. Aim for at least 30 minutes to an hour a day, five times a week, to improve your fitness.
If you're a lazy lady who wants to fight against your holiday belly, help is at hand. Take a look at your posture - are you slumping so that your belly forms several attractive rolls of flesh? Make an effort to sit up properly and breathe in from your bellybutton, using your abdominal muscles. Isolate those muscles and be aware of holding them in for as long as you can during the day - this will do wonders for your paunch.
The hours you spend in front of the TV can be put to excellent use during the holidays, and the bonus is that you'll be so distracted you won't even realise you're working out! Try three sets of 10 sit ups, done at a slow pace, while you watch the news. If you're watching an exciting film, do 20 jumping jacks. If you're in the grip of an absorbing documentary or soap, lie in front of the television and do 30 leg lifts, swapping sides during the commercial breaks.
Burn it off
Indulge in your favourite treats this Christmas, but before you do make sure you know how long you need to exercise to burn them off. Happily for the more slow-moving amongst us, walking around the shops for two hours can burn up to 600 calories - enough to indulge in two mince pies and a glass of wine.
Now is the time to catch up on any sleep you've missed over the hectic period of working, family commitments and festive parties. In the slow days after Christmas, set your alarm an hour later than usual to ensure you're well-rested. You'll be thankful once the New Year rolls in.
This idea is perfect for fitness procrastinators - sign yourself up for a race in the New Year. If you've never run before, don't go mad and enter a marathon, but try a more achievable 5k distance instead. Rope your friends in - studies show that we're more likely to honour our fitness commitments if friends are involved, as we don't want to let them down.
Shop it up
Browse the internet for some new workout gear - zero effort required and your snazzy new trainers may make you feel guilty enough to get down to the gym!
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