Last year
Give yourself the best present for Xmas next year – a fitter you!  ~ 

AS WORK winds down, it is time to put your feet up and relax . . .

But if you’ve been battling to find time to shape up all year long, get started now – don’t wait to make New Year’s resolutions.

Ivana Buchanan, group training specialist at Zone Fitness, spoke to SunWellbeing about some practical tips to make it through the holidays fighting fit.

Get your diet right

Yup, when you’re tucking into the rich Christmas food and enjoying the trimmings, you’re bound to add a few inches to your waistline. The secret, according to Buchanan, is to be careful all the time.

“Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring. It just means staying clear of refined sugars and excessive carbohydrates.”

Write down what you’re eating

“A food diary is great because it identifies all the small mistakes you’re making.

People like to grab a fruit juice off the shelf, for instance, thinking it is healthier than fizzy drinks, but juice adds a lot of weight without you realising it because it’s just full of added sugar. Stick to ordinary water,” she said.

Keep a diary and plan out a blueprint of dietary habits you can share with a dietitian or fitness trainer to get you back on track.

Whatever you do, do NOT put it off

Oh, it’s so easy to put off exercise until “tomorrow,” and keep moving the date until the new year comes and goes just like this year . . . No! Now is the right time. As the famous Nike slogan says: do it! Get up and get moving.

“Make it a routine by going with a good buddy. That way, if you’re tempted to pull out, you’re aware of the fact you’re letting someone else down. That reminder alone will push you on,” she said.

Go for high intensity training

No one wants to spend Christmas day sweating away at the gym – and gyms are usually closed on these days anyway – but make an effort to pack in a quick 30 to 40 minute session on the days before Christmas and the days after.

“A high intensity session is a great way to kick your body into gear and burn fat fast,” said Buchanan.

Concentrate on exercises that increase your heart rate, like extended sprints on the treadmill or intermittent bursts of speed on the bike.

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