FEEL THE DIFFERENCE: Staying active over festive period

Family walk

Family walk

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Christmas is a busy family holiday and often means ‘over indulgence’. It doesn’t need to be that way though. Fresh fruit and vegetables will be ideal choices and perhaps you can try to include some exercise to help keep you active.

It doesn’t need to be a full exercise programme that takes all of your time and effort but a little is better than nothing. Choosing activities that are attractive to everyone will benefit the whole family. Have a look at these simple tips and see if you can use them or adapt them to suite you:

The shopping list

1) Make sure that you have fresh fruit for snacks

2) Buy fresh vegetables and make your own healthy dips. Chopped carrots and celery are good examples. Grapes chopped in half are sweet and healthy too as are small bowls of mixed nuts.

3) Avoid (where possible) processed foods but choose the fresh option instead.

4) Having a drinks party? Start your evening with a pint of water. This will help you to feel full and may help to stop you from drinking too much.

The exercise programme

If you have young children they will probably love to go out for a walk on Christmas Eve to see if they can see Santa. The added advantage will be that the fresh air and exercise will help to tire them out. Parents will enjoy the occasion too and will benefit from the de-stressing effects of the fresh air and exercise.

Post Christmas will be a good time to take the children out on their new bikes or scooters. Check your bike over now to make sure it’s in working order.

Make sure you take advantage of our open spaces. I have no doubt the ramblers will have organised walks for you to join. I shall certainly be putting on some extra Nordic Walking sessions so feel free to come and join me and the rest of my friendly members.

Perhaps you would like to make the most of your holiday time to try a new exercise programme? Try this little challenge if you would like something more adventurous:

This one can be really tough so be prepared to take short breaks when you need them. You will need a dining chair, two small weights or tins of beans, and a mat.

Between each exercise you need to return to marching on the spot for 20 seconds with your knees lifting to waist height (a jog with the same knee action is a much harder version). Challenge yourself to move from the exercise to the march/jog as fast as you can. Starting with the march/jog, are you ready? Here is your routine:

2 press ups (box press ups for beginners)

2 biceps curls (use the tins or small weights)

2 crunches

2 triceps dips (use the chair)

2 squats (beginners version - sit on a chair then stand)

2 shoulder presses (use the tins or weights) 

This is a high-intensity workout which can be adapted by repeating the circuit and/or adding extra exercises.

The fitter and stronger you become the more you can do. I’ll post some technique tips on YouTube which you can find by typing ‘Mandarin Fitness Lincoln’. Do this routine three times a week and try to increase the number of circuits you can complete. If you have any medical conditions or are not used to exercise then consult your GP or contact me first.

Stay active and “Feel The Difference.”