Festive Fitness

The festive period often means that health and fitness is not generally found at the top of Santa’s naughty or nice list, but it doesn’t have to be this way:

  1. Put your body first

Yes, it’s possible to enjoy the season’s festivities while still focusing on your fitness goals. But it’s not about “going harder” at the gym. Why not try working on slower, more controlled movements by incorporating an extra Yoga or Pilates session into your routine. Yoga really helps you tap into your mind-body connection and focus on your breath, which can decrease stress, anxiety, and muscle tension. 

2. Take Equipment with you

If you’re on the road visiting friends and family why not take some equipment with you?

Travel Yoga Mats – creating a holiday home practise can reap some serious strength and mobility benefits whilst also beating stress. Practising in the morning means you can get in some ‘me time’ before the hectic days. The yoga mat also creates space for your “workout”, and if you leave it lying on the floor beside your bed, you’ll be reminded to practice when you wake up in the morning.

Resistance Bands- Resistance bands take up minimal space, but in terms of intensifying your workouts, these babies pack a punch. 

3.Work your Core and Glutes at home

We live in a world where we end up sitting most of the day; this can increase over the festive season, slumping on the sofa in a chocolate coma. Keeping a consistent approach to working the core and glutes can help prevent sofa related tone loss and help prevent from back, hip and knee pain. This mini home circuit is 25 minutes long and could be a monopoly interval. Repeat each move for 45 secs:

a) Glute bridges Lie on your back with feet hip-distance apart, knees bent. Move heels forward. Raise hips off the floor, keeping tailbone tucked, then slowly lower down.

b) Chair push-up Place a chair against a wall. Get into a push-up position, facing the chair, with hands on the seat. Draw belly in and tuck tailbone. Slowly lower chest towards the chair, keeping elbows close. Keep core tight and push back up.

c) Squat to chair Standing in front of a chair (facing away), take feet just over hip-distance apart, toes slightly turned out. Sit down while keeping chest upright and hips back. Push knees out wide as you stand.

d) Glute march Place a chair against a wall. Sit on the floor, allowing your shoulder blades to rest on edge of seat. Raise hips so they are in alignment with shoulders. Tuck tailbone and raise right foot off the floor, knee bent. Lower and repeat on the left side.

e) Wide-legged burpees Begin standing with feet just over hip-distance apart. Take hands to floor; jump feet back, wide, into a push-up position. Lower body to the floor. Push up, and jump the feet to the outsides of hands. Squeeze glutes to jump upwards. Land and repeat. Repeat circuit five times.

4. Make it fun. 

Go ice skating, sledding, or have a snowball fight (I’m clearly dreaming of a white Christmas). Active, festive fun is a great alternative to working out.

5. Treat Yo’ Self

For most people, the festive period can bring a fair few more indulgences than usual—think mince pies, mulled wine and chocolate.  Try not to deny yourself anything you want, it can be helpful to think of those extra calories as fuel for your muscles and your workouts. 

Blog post written by Lucy O’Toole. Join Lucys’ Dynamic and mindful approach to yoga in her weekly classes at Studio iO.

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