How to Keep Fit This Christmas

The Christmas period is one of the best of the year, but it is also one of the hardest to stay fit and healthy over. You are at your busiest socially, your spare time is taken up with Christmas shopping and getting everything ready for the big day. The pounds pile on and progress toward fitness goals is lost – it’s why everyone hits the gym in January after all.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! By keeping fit during the festive season you’ll keep up with your goals and you will be in a much better position come January.

A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time.

Enjoy yourself. Earned it – long hard year

Finally, please have fun this Christmas – it has been a long, hard year and you’ve earned it. Try and reduce stress, as this can lead to fat storage so enjoy yourself! It has been a long hard year and you’ve earned this.

You’ll find that by exercising wherever and whenever you can, and by moderating your food and alcohol intake you will feel less guilty and enjoy everything even more.

Put a Plan in Place

Some people feel that they achieve more if they have a plan in place to follow. A plan can help you to do the right exercise at the right times, eat the right foods and moderate your drink, helping you stay fit this Christmas.

Have a chat with a member of the team if you’d like our input. We’d be more than happy to help.

Eat and Drink Sensibly

We don’t want to be a Scrooge here, we want you to enjoy yourself and enjoy all that the Christmas menu has to offer, but try and moderate where you can. Yes turkey can be a great source of protein and support muscle growth, but if you eat too much you will unnecessary calories into your diet and this could lead to weight gain. Make sure you stock up on vitamins and nutrients where you can.

You should also watch your alcohol intake. Christmas is a wonderful time of year, full of parties and occasions. It certainly isn’t our aim to stop you enjoying a drink, but be careful to moderate what you drink.

Some alcoholic drinks — like mulled wine and beer — are very high on calories, whereas some drinks are low on calories— such as champagne and dry white wine. Keep an eye on what you are drinking, and make careful substitutes where possible.

Train with a Friend

Christmas is a time for friends and family, but you don’t have to confine this quality time to the home or parties – why not train with a friend too? Research shows that people train better with a friend as it keeps them motivated and helps them to push just a little harder. It’s also more fun to have some friendly company!

As we are always looking to improve your Simply Gym experience we would like to gift you with the Simply Gym 12 Days of Christmas: You will be able to gift your friends with a 12 day pass to any Simply Gym, free of charge!

To gift the pass your friend needs to select the gym that they want to join here, enter your unique referral code and scroll to the bottom of the page to find the pass.

If you don’t know your unique referral code just get in touch and we will be able to help.

Keep Training

It’s really important that you keep training and visiting the gym over the Christmas period. You need to maintain your muscle structure and fitness, whilst staying on track to reach your goals. Even if your sessions are shorter than usual, it’s so important to keep going.

12 Days of Christmas workout: How to start

So, on the first day of Christmas (aka the first day of the 12 Days of Christmas workout), you’ll complete one jump squat. On the second day, you’ll do two forward and back lunges and one squat. On the third day, it’s three crawl-outs, two forward and back lunges and one jump squat. This pattern continues until the twelfth day when you’ll have to complete the entire list.

Jump squats

Muscles involved: Glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, abs

Directions:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pointed slightly outward.
  2. Drop your hips back and down as if sitting in a chair, keeping your knees behind the toes at all times and your hips and ankles in line so that your knees don’t collapse inward.
  3. Continue to drop until your thighs are nearly parallel to the floor.
  4. Engage your core and jump up explosively.
  5. Land gently back at the starting position.

Tips:

  • Keep your neck long, your back straight and your shoulders back and down away from ears.
  • Make sure your abs are engaged and use your arms for balance.
  • If you want to make the exercise easier, stand with your feet wider apart.

Forward and back lunges

Muscles involved: Glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps

Directions:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Take a big step forward with one leg, then bend at the knee to drop your hips.
  3. Lower yourself deeper into the pose until your rear knee nearly touches the floor, and your front knee is directly above your ankle.
  4. Stand back up, step backward with the front leg and bend at the knee to drop your hips.
  5. Descend until your rear knee nearly touches the floor and your front knee above the ankle.
  6. Push off the rear foot to return to the starting position. Repeat for both legs.

Tips:

  • Don’t let your front knee extend past your toes.
  • Keep your neck long, your shoulders back away from ears and directly above hips.
  • Flexibility improves with time, so aim to enhance your range of motion with each step.

Crawl-outs

Muscles involved: Hamstrings, glutes, shoulders, core

Directions:

  1. Stand with your feet together. Keep your legs straight, then bend at the hips and place hands on the floor directly in front of you.
  2. Slowly walk your hands forward, alternating your left and your right hands.
  3. Keep walking until your body is parallel to the floor in a pushup position and hold for 3 seconds
  4. Slowly alternate your hands moving backward until you reach the starting position. Count it as one repetition.

Tips:

Keep your neck long, your back straight and your shoulders back and down away from your ears.

Push-ups

Muscles involved: Chest, shoulders, triceps, lats, core

  1. Begin in a plank position on the floor, with your hands directly under your shoulders, your feet together and your toes curled underneath.
  2. Tense every muscle in your body to form a straight line from your head through heels.
    Lower your chest towards the floor, keeping your elbows close to your body.
  3. Extend your arms to push your body back to the starting position.

Tips:

Keep your neck long and in line with your spine, and your shoulders down away from ears.

Burpees

Muscles involved: Chest, shoulders, abs, glutes, quadriceps

Directions:

  1. Stand straight, then squat down and place your hands on the floor outside of your feet.
  2. With your hands planted, jump your feet back and land with straight legs, toes curled under.
  3. Lower your body to the floor, with your elbows close to your body in a push-up position.
  4. Press your palms into the ground to lift your body again.
  5. Shift your body weight to your hands to jump your feet forward into a squat.
  6. Explode up into a jump and land on your feet as softly as possible. That’s one repetition.

Tips:

  • Keep your neck in line with your spine.
  • Try to complete the entire exercise as quietly as possible, i.e. jump and land gently.

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Side jumps

Muscles involved: Glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings

Directions:

  1. Stand with an object (like a book) placed on the floor to your left.
  2. Keep your feet together and jump to the left and over the object.
  3. Repeat the move, this time jumping to the right and over the object. That’s one repetition.

Tips:

  • Stay light on your feet and complete the exercise as quietly as possible.
  • Tuck in your knees for an additional challenge.

Dips

Muscles involved: Triceps, shoulders, upper back

Directions:

  1. Put your hands on top of a surface (like a chair or bench) with your arms extended and shoulders directly above wrists.
  2. Keep your legs straight in front of you with your heels on the floor, or with knees bent to make it easier.
  3. Bend your elbows to lower your hips to the floor.
  4. Straighten your arms and press your body back up to the starting position. That’s one repetition.

Tips:

  • Keep your neck long, shoulders back and down away from your ears
  • Engage your core.
  • Have your elbows tight to your body at all times
  • Keep your body close to the chair.

Russian Twists

Muscles involved: Abs, quadriceps

Directions:

  1. Sit on the floor with your knees bent at a 45-degree angle and your heels hovering several inches above the floor.
  2. Lean your torso back with a 45-degree bend in your hips and balance on your sit bones.
  3. Rotate your torso to tap both hands on the floor by left hip.
  4. Rotate your torso in the opposite direction to tap both of your hands on the floor next to the right hip.
  5. Count one repetition when you’ve tapped both sides.

Tips:

  • Keep your neck long and in line with your spine, and your shoulders down away from ears.
  • Hips should stay firmly grounded on the floor.

Squats

Muscles involved: Glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, core, lower back

Directions:

  1. Stand straight with your shoulders above your hips, your feet hip-width apart, and your toes slightly turned out.
  2. Drop your hips back and down. Be sure to keep your knees behind your toes at all times and your hips and ankles in line so that the knees don’t collapse inward.
  3. Continue to lower yourself as if you’re sitting back in a chair.
  4. Drive your weight into your heels and stand back up to the starting position.

Tips:

  • Keep your neck long and in line with your spine, and your shoulders down away from ears.
  • Flexibility improves with practice — try to squat deeper each time.
  • Engage your abs and extend your arms in front of you to help with balance.
  • To make the exercise easier, squat with your feet wider apart.

Mountain climbers

Muscles involved: Abs, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings

Directions:

  1. Place your hands on the floor directly underneath your shoulders. Keeping your hips lifted, extend your legs with your feet together and toes curled underneath.
  2. Tense every muscle in your body to form a straight line from your head through to your heels.
  3. Keep your left foot straight out behind while pulling your right knee in toward your chest.
  4. Place your right foot back down behind you and repeat the motion with your left leg (pulling your left knee in towards your chest).
  5. Repeat for the specified number of times (one mountain climber is equal to one repetition for each leg).

Tips:

  • Keep your neck long with your shoulders back away from the ears.
  • Breathe steadily and don’t hold your breath.
  • Spread your fingers out and grip the floor to keep you stable.

Butterfly sit-ups

Muscles involved: Abs

Directions:

  1. Lie on your back with the soles of your feet placed together, your heels pointed towards your butt, and your arms on floor stretched above your head.
  2. Press your lower back into the floor and roll your shoulders up and lean forward.
  3. Curl your torso off the floor and touch just past your feet.
  4. Slowly lower your body back down to the floor. That’s one rep.

Tips:

Keep your lower back pressed into the floor at all times and your core engaged.

Jump lunges

Muscles involved: Glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps,

Directions:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Jump straight up and with legs opposite each other to land in a lunge position.
  3. Descend until the back knee nearly touches the floor, keeping the front knee directly in line above the ankle.
  4. Drive through the heel of the lead foot, jump explosively and simultaneously switch legs.
  5. Land gently with your opposite foot in a front lunge position. Count one repetition when you’ve lunged on both legs.

Tips:

  • Keep your neck long, your back straight and your shoulders back and down away from ears.
  • Flexibility improves with time, so aim to improve your range of motion with each step.

The Bottom Line

Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

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