Mince pies, Stollen slices, sausage rolls, canapés, mulled wine, Christmas cake, brandy butter, Christmas pudding…it’s all got to go somewhere – and my hips seem to be fully stocked already! There is not long to go until Christmas and with the prospect of squeezing into party dresses looming it’s time to take action!
Immediately though I can think of a million and one excuses for not going to the gym or eating healthily – it’s too expensive, I haven’t got time, it’s too cold outside – you name it, I’ve used them all!
Over the last few days I have been trying to come up with some ideas of how to lose a few pounds before Christmas without using much money, time or willpower. Here is my list:
- Incorporate free exercise (like running or biking) into your day so that it doesn’t take up so much extra time. Some suggestions:
– When you take the kids to school could you park further away so that you can jog back to your car?
– If your kids go on the bus could you walk to the bus stop with them in your running gear then go for a run when they’ve gone off on the bus?
– If you have to nip into town for a pint of milk could you jump on your bike instead? (It might even save you time looking for a parking space!)
- Is dodgy workout gear providing you with the perfect excuse not to do any exercise? Then get some decent exercise clothes – this is where Nike UK comes in with some stylish running gear. They even do running gloves and head warmers – leaving you with no excuse not to get out in the cold…!
- If running outside doesn’t grab you or is just not possible, then how about an exercise DVD? There are literally thousands on offer – some of which you can get for free from your local library – so there will be one to suit you. Why not get a different DVD for each day of the week so you don’t get bored? Check out the reviews online to see which ones really work. Top-tip: there lots of exercise videos available for free on Youtube, some of them are just tasters of the full version but it means you can try before you buy. Some workouts are only 10 minutes long – so no matter how busy you are there is one you will have time for…!
- It may seem like a big investment but buying an exercise bike or even a treadmill could work out much cheaper and possibly more effective than going to the gym. I calculated that buying a treadmill would pay for itself in six months compared with going to the gym – think about the gym fees, fuel driving to the gym, childcare whilst at the gym etc. You won’t even have to leave your sitting room to get your exercise!
- Join up with friends. If you’ve arranged to meet someone there is no getting out of it and it will make exercising more enjoyable, and it’s free!
- Set a proper goal – a vague “I want to get fit” or “I want to lose weight” doesn’t work. How about writing “I want to fit into these gorgeous Zalando jeans on Christmas day” and keep a picture of them stuck on the fridge/biscuit tin?
- Make simple diet swaps. Instead of the slice of Christmas cake, how about a tangerine? Or if the urge for a gin and tonic hits you when you’re looking at the yet-to-wrap presents, make it a slim-line tonic! Nothing arduous but it all adds up.
- Make a plan. When time is short for exercise you need to make it count. But there’s no need to spend money at the gym having a training schedule drawn up for you. Again if you search the internet for your chosen sport then there are literally thousands of training plans for every ability.
Christmas can be a busy time of year so getting out in the fresh air can be a great stress reliever, as well as getting you in shape. And exercise could provide an excellent excuse for escaping a houseful of relatives…
Remember to check with your GP before starting any exercise or diet plan.