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Expert tips on how to keep fit this Christmas

Looking after yourself can be tough this time of year, but with these expert tips keeping active and focused on your health has never been so easy

Following another tumultuous year, we’d all be forgiven for wanting to get a head start on the festivities, but it’s an important time to stay focused on your health and there are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself while staying active.

Steven Virtue, Fitness Development Manager at Total Fitness, shares his top tips:

Keep moving

We often think of Christmas as being a time for lounging around and enjoying a well-earned rest. In reality, there are always plenty of things to be doing that will keep us on our feet over the festive season – including putting up decorations, baking festive treats, deep cleaning the house before family members arrive, to name just a few. While it can be tempting to leave these activities to others, helping around the house is actually a fantastic way to improve your health. Studies estimate that around 10-15 per cent of our total daily energy expenditure happens through NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) which is all those movements in your daily life that don’t feel like exercise, and you do without thinking about, such as going upstairs, preparing dinner, or getting up to make a cup of tea.

Little and often

Can’t commit to an hour’s workout? No problem! Your body can achieve a great deal in as little as 10 minutes. If you’re time-strapped and can’t make it to the gym, there’s a huge amount of workout content available online, with many personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts offering routines and circuits of varying lengths to help you get fit. If you can only allow a short window for exercise, make it count with a HIIT session (high intensity interval training) that targets one area of your body, then shake it up the next day with another routine that’s set to target a different muscle group. Results will come with consistency.

Take Christmas walks

A leisurely winter walk is a popular tradition around Christmas time and is a great way to gently increase your heart rate while enjoying the company of loved ones over the festive period. Throw on a warm coat and get the family out for some fresh air, or buddy up with a friend and commit to a regular morning walk.

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