5 tips on how to get fit and not fat this Christmas

The festive season is here, and so are the mince pies, beer, and chocolate. The fitness regime often goes out the window, and on come the TV marathons. But actually, the festive season is the perfect opportunity for physical activity, whether that's starting your NY resolution early, or continuing your existing training regime. One of the main barriers to regular exercise is lack of time, and the holidays provide it in abundance.

Get others involved
Christmastime of course means visiting family and friends, but instead of board game lethargy or another cheese board, try a long country walk or some ice-skating.

Ice Skating

Bring your own treats
You don’t have to be Scrooge this Christmas, swap those festive foods for a healthier alternative. Roasted chestnuts, unsalted nuts and biltong are great alternatives to crisps and chocolate. A few treats will be fine but ask yourself: are you eating it because you want it, or because it’s there?

Set goals
If you haven’t already, set goals for the New Year. Write down what you want to achieve, and where you want to be with your health and fitness over the coming year.

Remember to keep your goals realistic, and be positive and realistic about your ability to achieve them. Be patient: weight loss and muscle growth don’t happen over night, so break it down, and set mini goals to help along the way.

Workouts don’t have to be long to be beneficial. Research has found that a 20-minute high intensity workout burns more calories than a 40-minute steady workout. So the next time the rerun of a Christmas special of a 90s sitcom comes on the T.V., head off to the gym.

The festive season is no doubt a time for celebration, but those alcohol units can really add up. It’s not rude to limit your intake, or to keep tabs on how much you’ve had. Another thing to remember is that the more you drink, the less control you have, and those mince pies begin to look all the more tempting. Make sure to stay hydrated with water between alcoholic drinks.

Christmas is a time to let your hair down and reflect on the previous year. It’s also a time to look ahead to the New Year, and focus on where you want to be next Christmas.

Set goals, be positive, and enjoy yourself.