The Christmas season is a time to slow down, unwind and relax. It’s also a time to consume too many calories, watch too much TV and do too little exercise. That presents a challenge to many fitness enthusiasts. Yet, maintaining your good exercise and nutrition habits during the proverbial 12 days of Christmas will springboard you into a fantastic new year. In this article, we present the 12 days of Christmas tips & tricks.

On the 1st Day of Christmas . . .Make a Plan

The old saying that those fail to plan, plan to fail, is never truer than during the Xmas period. When the focus is on breaking out of your normal routine and throwing yourself into relaxation mode, you need to schedule your workout time. That may require a bit of compromise. 

Don’t expect to continue your exact workout schedule over the Xmas period. After all, you will want to spend more time with your family and friends over this period. You might have cut back from 5 to 3 days per week at the gym or get in your workouts earlier in the day so you have the rest of it free to spend with your loved ones. The key is to sit down with a calendar and plot out your training days and times ahead of time.

On the 2nd Day of Christmas . . . Broaden Your Exercise Options

The Xmas period presents you with a great opportunity to widen out in your exercise choices. Think about active things you can do with family members, such as hiking, cycling, or swimming. Instead of going solo to the gym, get some guys together for a pick up game of basketball. Look for ways to infuse some fun and social interaction into your workouts.

On the 3rd Day of Christmas . . . Skip

Investing less than twenty bucks in a skipping rope will help you to stay on track with your Xmas training program. This tiny, lightweight, inexpensive piece of gear can travel anywhere with you and provide you with the best bang for your buck in terms of calorie burn for the few minutes invested.

On the 4th Day of Christmas . . .Get Active in the Ads

You’ll probably be spending more time in front of a TV screen over Xmas. You can do so completely guilt free by getting active during the ad breaks. Get off the couch and pump out some push ups, planks and triceps dips.

On the 5th Day of Christmas . . . Do a Bodyweight Challenge

Taking up a fitness challenge is a great motivator and we all need extra motivation during the holiday period. Take up a challenge you can do at home with no equipment such as one involving push ups or pull ups. 

On the 6th Day of Christmas . . . Try Something New at the Gym

If you are a tunnel vision gym trainer, take the opportunity to try something new. Get off the weight room floor and challenge yourself to HIIT cardio workout with kettlebells, the sled and battle ropes. You could even take a fitness class or step into the cardio room.

On the 7th Day of Christmas . . . Create Fitness Games

Take the opportunity to encourage your family and friends to get more active. Maybe you can create an obstacle course or a family fitness challenge that includes challenges that are appropriate for the different ages involved. It’s a great way to bond, and sweat, together!

On the 8th Day of Christmas  . . . Stay Hydrated

It’s pretty inevitable that you’re going to be consuming more calories over the holiday season. You can go a long way to limiting the damage by staying hydrated. Start the day with a couple of glasses of water and then drink frequently from a water bottle throughout the day. You will be providing your body with the water it needs to function optimally while also filling your stomach to minimise any unnecessary snacking between meals.

On the 9th Day of Christmas  . . . Get Plenty of Sleep

Most people tend to party too much and sleep too little during the Xmas season. Yet, sleep is vital to health. It is the time when your body recovers, recuperates and grows. Do not miss out on the opportunity to get your sleep during the Xmas period. Plan for at least 8 hours of slumber every night.

On the 10th Day of Christmas . . . Have Healthy Snacks

Over the Xmas period, you’ll probably be eating more snack foods as you watch movies and socialize with others and are out & about without your regular healthy food on hand (note - most people would find they are not prepared with healthy food options when out and about doing holiday things). Rather than serving up unhealthy options such as chips and cookies, why not serve up such healthy fare as mixed nuts, celery sticks, carrot sticks with flatbread and hummus dip or a fresh fruit salad with dark chocolate.

On the 11th Day of Christmas . . .Limit your portions

Xmas is a time to indulge yourself with food. But there is absolutely no reason why you need to over indulge. You are far too disciplined for that. Sure, you can have a piece of cake. But limit yourself to just one. View it as a treat. That way you can savour it without guilt. And you won’t feel sluggish and bloated the following day!

The saying goes, 1 bad meal one day won't break a diet, just like 1 good meal or day won't make you lose weight and reach your goals.

On the 12th Day of Christmas . . . Watch the Booze

You’ve been working hard all year long to strip off body fat and create a physique to be proud of. Yet, over the 12 days of Xmas, it’s possible to undo much of that effort. How? By overindulging in alcohol. Those beer calories quickly mount up in your body. They will quickly end up on the sides of your waist. Have a couple of beers, but know when to call it quits!

Wrap Up

Staying consistent with your fitness lifestyle over the 12 days of Christmas doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the season. Follow our 12 simple, common sense tips and you’ll come through to enter the new year in the best shape of your life.