Expert advice: How exercise can make for a happier, healthier and less stressful Christmas
-Dec 5, Hannah Hargrave, Fitness -
With all the planning, eating, drinking, socialising and stressing that comes with Christmas exercise can get pushed to the wayside. But finding time to squeeze in even just a short workout a few times a week can do wonders for your mind and body and make for much calmer festivities. Fit4mum founder Melissa Lorch explains how and why you should make time for exercise – this time of year included.
When the scent of mulled wine and roast dinner is in the air, nobody really wants to think about the gym, but it’s worth considering fitting in some exercise over the next few weeks as it will help with your stress and happiness levels.
Melissa Lorch is a busy business owner and mum-of-two and she insists that her Christmas workouts make for a much easier and happier time of year.
How to make time for more exercise?
Melissa says: “There’s no denying it’s a busy time of year trying to fit everything in before Christmas hits. But my motto is ‘one is better than none’. So, if you are struggling to squeeze in exercise, don’t give up entirely. Just try to do this:
“10 press ups (on your knees if you can’t do full ones), 10 squats, 10 lunges, 10 supermans and hold a plank for 10 seconds. Repeat it three times. That’s doing something, getting moving and remember one is better than none.
“It’ll take you five minutes when you wake up in the morning or before you go to bed at night. It’s enough to get the endorphins flowing.”
Talking of endorphins, that’s another reason to get moving this Christmas.
Exercise improves your mood
“Exercise really can help beat the blues,” says Melissa who admits this time of year can be just as stressful as it can joyous. “When you workout you release endorphins, the hormones which make you feel happier. Finishing a workout does feel particularly great right? It boosts your mood and your self esteem too.”
Plan your workouts
Just as you plan your festive meals, parties, shopping and present wrapping you can plan a little exercise too. ‘I haven’t got time’ is a valid reason but Melissa bets if you work it into your hectic day you’ll soon find it’s just part of your regime.
“December is a month of indulgence and fun and that’s ok! We can survive all of these Christmas parties it just takes planning and preparation on our behalf along with a sprinkling of commitment and consistency.
“Set the alarm clock an extra 20 minutes earlier or squeeze in two or three ten minute workouts through the day instead of one full half hour. You’ll be amazed what the difference those few minutes you steal from the day can make.”
Exercise can help to improve your sleep
At this time of year you may shut your eyes at night and all you can think of are all the jobs you still have to get done. Exercise can help you sleep better though. We’re not saying workout until you drop but Melissa says: “I find regular exercise helps my sleep schedule and makes me less anxious come bedtime.”
Why being outside can make you happy
Enjoy those frosty mornings, crisp blue skies and the chill in the air. Because getting outside is a great way to boost your mood – even if it is a little cold.
“Everyone thinks you have to do something to make you really hot and sweaty to get a workout, but walking is a fantastic way to get moving,” says Melissa.
It’s also a great way to socialise with your family over the Christmas period. You can go out for a walk, a chat and some fresh air and then come back and know you’ve earned your spot in front of the fire.”
She adds: “Wouldn’t it be lovely to finish out the year feeling great and burst into 2019 with a fresh, fit and fabulous outlook?”
If you enjoyed this article then you might also like to read the ways you can squeeze a little more exercise into your day and with all those tempting Christmas treats why not find out how to outwit your unhealthy cravings.