Keeping fit over Christmas without being the Grinch

Most of us, despite our best intentions, rely to an extent on a certain routine to keep us active. Whether that’s going to the gym on set days of the week, always taking our favourite teacher’s class, or having a regular PT session. Take that routine away and it can be hard to know what to do.


Often at Christmas we end up places that aren’t everyday ‘home’ for us and do we really want to be the person who spends the holiday googling the nearest gym and driving 40mins each way to get there? Not if you'd like to avoid being the Grinch that stole family time!


The problem is, as well as being fun, Christmas is also usually pretty stressful i.e. a time when we might really benefit from a stress-busting workout or some relaxing yoga. So what to do about it?


1. Get outside – It sounds obvious, but it’s so easy to end up staying indoors, or darting around in the car when things are busy. Take a family walk, meet friends at a pub you can walk to rather than driving, drop in on your neighbours by bike, play with any kids you’re lucky enough to have around and if you’re a runner, discovering a new route might be a great new challenge. Here's one I found a few days ago...


2. If you’re not an outdoors person, or if the weather is truly awful, make use of online classes or DVDs.  Tracy Anderson’s mat workout is still one of the best as you can do it in virtually no space (trust me, I’ve tried) and all you really need is a chair. More and more studios are also offering online versions of their classes – two of the best at the moment are Barrecore and The Life Centre, for barre and yoga respectively.


3. If you are at home, why not use this as an opportunity to try something new? Okay so I’m trying to get you outside again, but how many of us know the feeling of semi-ignoring the things on that are on our doorstep? Most Londoners I know have never been Madame Taussauds despite the hundreds of people who wait in line on a daily basis to get in. I’ve still never made it to Richmond Park even though I make a near-annual vow to bike-riding there and it’s the same when we go home. For me it took having a fresh pair of eyes around to realize that we had Offa’s Dyke and river kayaking on our doorstep, as well as several amazing mountains to hike.

Who knows, this year I might actually get around to going for that bike ride.

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!