Esquire's resident fitness guru James Mitchell teaches us how to remain active this Christmas, by following three simple steps.
Walk it off
Keep as active as possible. If you're at a party, get on the dance floor. If cooking, use the manual whisk instead of the electric one. Even the traditional Boxing day walk can be effective. The average man walking at an average pace will burn nearly 100 calories a mile so make it a long one and keep the pace brisk.
TIP - Hills, hills and more hills. When you hit an incline the amount of calories your body burns goes through the roof. Planning a route that contains as many hills as you can fit in is the way to go to make that nice Chrimbo walk just that little bit more strenuous. If you get a little warm, have to take that scarf off and get a little moisture on that forehead, your on the right track.
Something is better than nothing Even when you're stuck at a relative's house, there are a multitude of exercises that you can do using things that you can find nearly anywhere. Your body weight, luggage, stairs are all things that can be used to create resistance for an exercise. Plan a little routine that you can do every morning just to keep those muscles on their toes.
TIP - Try a 15 minute program every morning - start by walking up and down some stairs for a minute to get warmed up, then do 45-60 seconds of repetitions for the following exercises; Lunges with your back foot on the bed, press ups, pelvic lifts, bent over row with a heavy piece of luggage, 1 litre bottle lateral raises, plank and cobra. Repeat the whole circuit again then spend a couple of minutes stretching. Simple, efficient and effective.
Stay focused Understand that you may not be able to stick completely to your program, and plan accordingly. You may even be able to keep some semblance of training up through the busy period. Also, don't plan on making gains if you have a crazy social schedule. Be happy just keeping things ticking over.
Tip - I tend to write a 'tick over' plan for my clients that I start at the end of November. I make sure that this is a generic workout that covers the whole body and includes some cardio. With this kind of general programme, a late cancellation due to an unplanned hangover is no major problem. More structured programs can really suffer once you throw in a few no-shows.