By Sophie Apps
The craziness that is Christmas, with all its sparkly lights, late nights and frenzied hours battling the high street, can take its toll on even the healthiest among us.
Our comfy Lycra and nutritious smoothies are for some reason abandoned and we succumb to sequins and cocktails. Our gym routines go out of the window and suddenly it’s OK to gorge on highly calorific mince pies and sickly sweet mulled wine. It’s Christmas, it’s just what we do. Except we shouldn’t.
This time of year should be about nurturing ourselves through the bleak midwinter days. It should be about fresh air and plenty of exercise. Yes our social engagements have taken priority. Yes there is still a lot of wrapping to do. And yet if we just make an effort to squeeze in bit of exercise in between all the festivities, we might just make it to New Year’s day with our sanity still intact.
Use this time to try new things, explore other ways of working out and generally try to see it as a positive rather than a negative. Here are my tops tips for surviving the festive season:
1. Work out in the morning – leaving the evenings free for partying. It will help you feel better throughout the day.
2. Walk. This is a great (and free) activity that can help you have some time out from all the noise and activity that surrounds Christmas. Alternatively suggest it as a family outing and let everyone enjoy the fresh air together, away from screens and that box of Quality Streets.
3. Ever growing in popularity, HIIT sessions can be done in shorter bursts of time and are still just as effective. Around 20 to 30 minutes of this type of session has been found to effectively burn just as much fat as a less intense, longer cardiovascular session.
4. Set up your own circuits class with whatever you have at home. Try stepping up and down on the bottom step or doing sit ups and squats in the lounge. These can easily be done in a few repeats of 30-second rounds to get your heart rate up and working up a sweat. Try and do some simple stretches in the morning, for around 15 minutes. This will help refresh you for the day ahead.
5. Check out yoga and pilates classes on YouTube. There are lots of credible teachers online and great Apps available that can be easily followed with just a bit of floor space and some time to yourself.
6. Don’t be a dustbin. We are all guilty of over indulging, and it wouldn’t be Christmas without all the extra trimmings, however this doesn’t justify emptying the fridge! No one is forcing that extra helping of trifle or a few too many roast potatoes onto you. Enjoy a treat or two, but know when you’ve had enough.
Sophie Apps is part of the Third Space Medical team, based in Canary Wharf. Graduating from Kings College London in 2010, she initially worked in the NHS before moving into private practice to develop her interest in musculoskeletal and sports physiotherapy. She has a wide experience in treating back and neck disorders as well as sports and post operative rehabilitation.
Within her day to day practise she integrates sports massage, acupuncture, sports taping and pilates into her approach to rehabilitation. To book an appointment with Sophie at Third Space, please call: 0203 773 5157