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How to be kind to your body this festive season!

You have that annual Christmas lunch with old friends, the in-laws are coming around for dinner, and you’re going out with work friends for Christmas drinks before taking your niece to her end-of-year dance concert. The festive season is upon us and during this busy time it can be easy to throw your exercise regime out the window and diet debauchery can become an understatement. Here are a few tips to keep you on track this festive season.

Christmas shopping:

If you enjoy shopping it can be a great excuse to do an extra lap of the mall and carrying a few heavy bags will really add to the workout. If you wear a fitness tracker you may surprise yourself how many steps you accumulate and how many calories you burn!

Prioritize workouts:

The festive season brings an increase in social activities. Try to schedule exercise into the morning if you know you have social events on the calendar or if you are too busy to fit in your usual hour walk. Cutting your workout in half but increasing the intensity to at least 70% of your maximal effort can be just as effective if not more beneficial in avoiding festive weight gain.

Portion control:

Christmas lunches and dinners do not have to be a huge blow out. At restaurants, order two entrees instead of an entree and a main. Due to the smaller size of entree serves this can help to prevent the temptation to over-eat. If you cannot resist dessert, ask someone if they want to share; this way you can still treat yourself but are consuming smaller portions.

Drink in moderation:

Going out for Christmas drinks can pack a punch when it comes to calories. Here’s a few favourites:

  • 500ml bottle of cider = 870kJ
  • 375ml Crown Lager = 641kJ
  • 375ml Carlton Draught = 581kJ
  • 160ml glass red wine = 456kJ
  • 160ml glass dry white wine = 454kJ
  • 160ml glass sweet white wine = 669kJ
  • 160ml glass sparkling wine = 434kJ

To put that in perspective, a 30 minute brisk walk will burn approximately 658kJ!

Make family gatherings active:

We are so lucky in Australia to be able to enjoy the warm, sunny weather over festive season. At family gatherings get everyone involved in playing a game of backyard cricket or simply enjoy a walk in the sunshine together after your lunch. Exercise after eating is a great way to improve insulin sensitivity and triglyceride levels.

Put these strategies in place over this festive season to avoid losing fitness or gaining weight! For additional guidance on exercising over the festive season, talk to us at Southside Physiotherapy.

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