Fit and Festive 101: Keeping Fit & Healthy At Christmas

As Christmas rolls in and deadlines creep up ,there seems to be a panic about how to ‘survive’ the silly season. Fear not!

What if you just kept it simple and trust that when 80% of the time you are doing all the right things to eat, exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle – the other 20% will be OK. Trust me – it will be. Why see Christmas as a reason to binge eat, drink and then be sorry –  when you can enjoy fabulous food, fun outings and extra time to workout during the holidays – and be merry!

It’s only when you start to deny or ‘put’ rules upon yourself that things start to get tricky. So relax, know that you’re a super smart wonderful person who can achieve both a fit and a festive Christmas.

Here are my top 10 tips to surviving Christmas, keeping your health and fitness goals on track and still have a blast!

1. Be Consistent – Keep up the small workouts, regular meals you make and mini moments throughout the week that you put your health and fitness first. Weave them into your agenda just as your normally would. If you can’t make the gym, take your workout outdoors or just do an express

2. Think Fresh – Get some fresh air, choose fresh food and have a fresh perspective about Christmas – enjoy making new meals and approaching a healthy happy festive season.

3. Share the cooking – Ask friends or family to bring along something to help and offer to do the same yourself as well. There are some amazing healthy recipes available online that will spice up your Christmas Pudding without the extra calories!

4. Be Prepared – Take healthy snacks for long car rides, offer to make a salad or bring some entrée or pre dinner snacks. Drink plenty of water and keep perspective. This is one day or a couple of days out of the year.

5. H.I.T it out – Try some high intensity interval training rather than long workouts –  anything is better than nothing.  Remember it’s not what you want to be, it’s what you DO that makes the difference. There really are no excuses when it comes to finding time to workout  – if you really WANT to, you will. I’ll be sharing some workout tips during December to help you navigate your way through the busy season one exercise at a time! Keep an eye out for the Jan edition of WH&F Mag for a HIT workout for any level of fitness.

6. Book a Fit Date – Want to socialise and not lose out on your healthy living. Find like-minded people to connect and join for you for something sporty at Christmas! Hit the slopes if you’re near the snow, learn to surf or stand up paddle if you’re near water. Try indoor rock climbing or go for a walk or run together. It’s a great way to have a first date or rekindle a connection at the end of a busy year…

7. Create Outdoor Moments: As I wrote about in  the Dec issue of Women’s Health & Fitness Magazine  –   fitness is a part of your life right!?  So go for a run or walk on Christmas morning before everyone gets up, create a family outing that involves being outside and enjoy the fresh air.  You’re not on a diet you’re just eating healthy and living well. If it’s cold then wrap up warm and head out after lunch for a walk with the family! Just keep moving and try not to stay inside all day. Move = metabolism!

8. Drink WATER – and plenty of it. If you can navigate your way through Christmas looking for fresh ingredients and loading up on plenty of water each day this will pay off. Once more:

9. Think like an athlete – athletes don’t get stressed about Christmas dinners and office work parties, they just have a plan and work their way through it. Balance your day with some exercise, healthy food and make healthy choices when out. If you have a glass or two of wine or beer  – it’s Christmas! Know that the next day is your own to schedule some moments to workout or avoid eating heavy processed food.

10. Have fun – life is short! Once you stop talking about rules and start focusing on the fun side of bringing a fresh and festive christmas spirit into your December you’ll be surprised at the results. Avoid stressing over small details and elements you cannot control (such as what someone else is serving you for a lunch at their house) it’s one meal out of the day and won’t wreck your program. Relax, enjoy company of friends, family and new faces if you’re out socialising.

Some of you are reading this knowing it may snow during your Christmas, whilst others in the Southern hemisphere are planing back yard barbecues, beach cricket and sunny drinks on the balcony. Whatever your climate use the rare time you have at Christmas to enjoy using nature as your gym, stick to a few of the basic principles above and kick-start your new year fantastic self well before 2013 comes to an end.

You can download my 3’cs to surviving Christmas article with the WH&F Mag iPad edition, or pick up one on your new stands now in Australia and NZ.


For those of you looking for some extra workout inspiration CLICK HERE to receive the PDF of my last years Fit & Festive workout using body weight and no equipment required.

Most of all – this is such a fabulous time of year to celebrate all the work you have put into 2013, enjoy the next few weeks of festivities, wrapping up deadlines and plans with family. You create the life you want and can do so on a daily basis!


Health and Happiness!

Nikki x

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