December is the one time of year when the gym generally looks like a ghost town. When all caution is thrown to the wind as you try to get into a more comfortable position before eating your 40th Ferrero Rocher. I’ve been there.
Luckily, this doesn’t have to be the case. Start exercising now – and take your habit with you into the New Year. This way, you can avoid a potentially defeating uphill struggle in January when you look despairingly at the scales.
You don’t have to be hitting the gym everyday and attending Body Pump classes if you don’t want to, either. Start off walking! Walking may not be as energetic as running, but studies suggest it can still benefit our health, weight and fitness – and boost our moods too. Research from the University of East Anglia found group walking cut people’s risk of life-threatening conditions – lowering average blood pressure, resting heart rate, body fat, weight, and cholesterol.
And what’s better than a lovely bracing walk after Christmas lunch to work off that turkey!?
Here are six steps to help you walk your way to Christmas, and take you closer to your New Year resolution fitness goals:
- Use it as stepping-stone
Aim for the NHS-recommended 10,000 steps a day, walking for at least ten minutes a time. That’s about five miles in total, which when you add up a day’s walking isn’t as much as it sounds, especially if you’re commuting or trawling the shops for gifts. You could even ask Santa for a pedometer for Christmas to track this!
- When you’re too busy…
If work, festive season shopping and socialising are getting in the way of your usual workout, then perhaps you could build some walking into your day. Walk instead of taking the bus, take a walk after lunch and run up the stairs rather than using the escalators at the Tube station.
- Make a tradition of it
As mentioned above, one of the joys of the holiday period is that it’s a chance to slow down, eat indulgent food and get together at home with loved ones. But that needn’t mean giving up on exercise altogether! Try and get out for a walk every day – and make walking with friends and family one of your festive traditions.
- Use it as a mood booster
Christmas can be a time of heightened emotions – and not all them good. Coping with loss, family differences, separation or loneliness can be tough when everyone around you seems in celebratory mood. But as well as keeping you healthy and fit, a walk in the fresh air can really boost your mood. So step outdoors and walk yourself to a better place.
- Like a challenge?
If you want to try something more structured, try Vavista Life’s 10K Anyway. It’s suitable for almost anyone from total couch potato to honed athlete – and by signing up in December you’ll be well on your way to your fitness goals in 2016.
And if you fancy exercising in style, how about these absolutely BEAUTIFUL bicycles from Mango Bikes?
These ladies bikes come in five different, gorgeous colours: cream, green, blue, raspberry and black, along with a wicker basket on the front and a matching tan saddle. The perfect investment for a girl about town! Unfortunately, I’ve nowhere to keep a bike at the moment, but as I’m moving house in the New Year – and at only
£299 (there is a Winter Sale on – now £250!), I’m hoping to be able to invest in one of these beauties. Exercise has never looked so good!
What are you waiting for?