Tips to keep healthy over the festive season

by Nicki Philips

The holiday season is an extremely difficult time to stay focused on eating healthily, exercising regularly and improving wellness. There are delicious treats and sweets everywhere; the weather gets colder, making you want to cosy up on the sofa rather than go for a run; there’s lots of travel and eating out and there are tons of social events with indulgent foods and excessive alcohol. Even if you have superhuman willpower, the festive season is challenging for everyone. However with some thought, strategy and determination, it will be easier than you think to turn it all around this Christmas. Start 2019 with good health and momentum, rather than a long list of resolutions.

Eat before you go

You may think I’m crazy but this might just be the best advice yet! Eat a mini balanced meal before you leave your house. Some protein, vegetables, a little fat and a little starch, so you feel satiated and calm. This way when you turn up to the event you won’t feel the need to excessively overeat on the naughty nibbles until you feel rubbish!

 Don’t forget your veggies!

We tend to focus on the turkey, mashed potatoes and pie and forget the veggies. Vegetables are SO good for you and actually fill you up if you eat enough. Even if your plate is a quarter full of veggies you’re on the right track. Not only that but you will actually be doing your body some good in adding some substantial, nutritious fuel to the festive fun!

 Stay hydrated!

Whether your night involves food or alcohol (or both!) , make sure you are fuelling your body with enough water. This will not only help the hangover but more importantly you will less likely feel the need to stuff your face if you regularly fill your body with water – more often than not you are actually thirsty, not hungry!

 Remember ALL movement counts

Have you got 10 minutes? Try and make it count, go for a walk or stretch your legs and make sure you walk whenever you can. If you’ve got back to back events and can’t even think about getting yourself on a run or to the gym head to my Instagram and try one of my niix 10 minute, effective but manageable home workouts. Treat your body with extra care during this time!

 Make it social

Studies show we are far more likely to commit to our exercise routine if we have other people to work out with! Use this time to catch up with some friends over a walk, run or even a home workout! Come armed with snacks! If you’re off to a late night event that normally ends with Mcdonalds to soak up the alcohol or if the dinner portions are too small – then come prepared. Healthy snacks such as nuts, dried fruit, cut up veggies, yoghurt etc are your perfect go to, to curb that hunger on the way home or throughout the day/ evening!

 Don’t beat yourself up!

It’s Christmas after all! You’re always going to be drawn from your sensible, healthy and balanced routine. But rather than feel constant guilt, acknowledge your successes. Yes you may have not got your full hour workout in, but you managed a 30 minute walk, small victories are important too!

 Recharge over the holidays and make some time for yourself

It is important to look after our mental health as well as our physical health especially when there are so many demands on our time at this time of the year. It may not feel like the best time to exercise but research shows us it is really good for our body and our mind.

 Enjoy and celebrate!

Yes, the festive period is very much associated with food and drink. But don’t limit your excitement to just that – catch up with people, talk, celebrate and only eat what you actually need to!

 Commit to your early morning workout

Shorter workouts are fine as long as we focus on a little bit of movement every day. Working out in the morning will allow you to get it done and enjoy the rest of the day guilt free!

Best wishes for the festive season from everyone at niix

Find out more

Nicki Philips is a qualified Pilates, TRX & Barre coach. After 10 years coaching and gathering her credentials she has developed her own training programme, Niix Method, that fuses the best of Pilates with cardio exercises into curated classes lasting 10-30 minutes a day, 4 days a week. Nicki believes that all women should feel strong, fit and confident despite our ever-changing bodies and busy lives.  Great results come from creating sustainable, health & fitness habits incorporating good technique. While running her own business, Nicki is also a busy mother of two girls, a step-son, and a sausage dog.

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