We are now on countdown to Christmas which can be a stressful time for many women for a multitude of reasons but mostly because we take the brunt of the work on board.
The mental load can feel overwhelming, especially when you feel your attentions moving away from your healthy habits because you simply don’t have the time to make them a priority right now.
But you don’t want to head into the big day feeling under par. You want to enjoy the festivities like everyone else. So how do you feel your healthiest and stay in shape for Christmas?
There is so much advice out there, which can in itself feel overwhelming. So to keep things simple, here are just 4 ways you can give yourself a little reset over the next few weeks before Christmas to look and feel your best.
- Reframe the way you view exercise. Rather than seeing exercise as a way to prevent weight gain, or keep you in a healthy holding pattern before letting go over the festive period, see exercise as a way to help you reduce any stress & anxiety, lift your mood, increase productivity and improve your focus (all of which are important at this time of year). Commit to 10-15 minutes of exercise each day as a form of mental relief from the chaos and plan ahead what you are going to do. (Following a daily workout calendar like BBackstage, or weaving in a brisk walk to the office or at lunchtime). This is a much better way of unwinding and relaxing than a second glass of wine.
- Enjoy well-timed snacks. If you’re hungry when you arrive at a party, you might struggle to resist the canapés, so always have a pre-party snack. A tablespoon of Greek yogurt with a sliced banana for some protein and potassium to help delay the effects of that first glass of wine and balance any increase in your salt intake when you start munching on olives and nuts. If you have eaten a healthy snack beforehand, it’s so much easier to resist the unhealthier snacks when they start doing the rounds. Other snacks which do the trick include corn cake with nut butter, a bowl of muesli, or a small serving of soup.
- Get back on track. After a big night out don’t skip meals, even if you have over-indulged. It’s the balance of your diet that’s important and if you skip a meal you are more likely to overdo it at the next meal. Eating healthily for 80% of the time leaves you with some space to indulge in the treats. Also, stop eating when you are 80% full. The 20% gap between not being hungry and feeling full could be the difference between losing weight or gaining it.Focus on ensuring every meal contains protein. This is particularly important for women in their 40s and beyond and will also keep you fuller for longer.
- Adapt your routine. Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean you have to let go of all your healthy habits. Accept that you won’t be exercising every day and that you will be eating things you wouldn’t ordinarily eat (in quantities that may surprise you!). But keep moving (even if it’s just for 5 minutes). Switch up your routine and focus on what you feel gives you the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to training.
Breaking Ballet’s unique ballet-inspired workouts are tailored for perimenopausal and menopausal women to help them future proof their bodies at the same time as looking after the here and now.
Sarah is the founder of Breaking Ballet, a unique online ballet fitness programme for busy women.
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