Thursday 19 September 2019

Karl Henry: The 'stairs only' rule and other simple ways to offset the Christmas bulge

Karl Henry's tips on how to stay in shape for the festive season and have fun

Karl Henry
Karl Henry
Karl Henry

Karl Henry

The Christmas party season is in full swing and it's possibly the hardest month to stay trim and healthy! But fear not, as ever I am here to help.

This week I thought I would  list simple ways to offset the festive partying. Remember that every little helps in terms of your health, so making those small adjustments to your day will all add up to a healthier and fitter you!

Movement

⬤ WALK: Walk to your Christmas party event. Remember that one hour of walking will burn up to 500 calories

⬤ Stairs only rule: Using the stairs is always the simplest way to get healthy, it burns calories and makes the muscles in your body do some work. Stick to the stairs and you're on to a winner

⬤ Exercise early: By training early in the day, you are less likely to have excuses not to do it and you will get metabolism benefits all day too

⬤ accountability partner: Team up with a friend or a colleague in work and motivate each other when the other person doesn't want to do a session. You are far more likely to stay healthy through December if you have someone to help you

⬤ Dance: Dancing is possibly one of the most fun ways to burn calories and have fun too. You can burn up to 400 calories per hour by dancing - so what's not to love?

⬤ Stand: Okay, so I know you are sick of me talking about standing but that's how beneficial it actually is! Stand at the drinks reception, stand at the afters, just stand!

Food

⬤ Chew your food: The more you chew your food, the better so try this trick: Place your knife and fork down in between each mouthful of food while you chew, aim to chew for around 30 seconds or so

⬤ Slow down your eating: We eat far too fast, giving our bodies far more calories that we actually need or want, so aim to take longer eating your meal. You can do this by looking at everyone else eating at your table, and ensure you have more food on your plate than they have

⬤ Load up on protein and vegetables: You will have all kinds of options at this time of year, but aim to fill your plate with lean protein (meat or fish) and lots of vegetables and place the sauce on the side

⬤ Water and Wine go together: Aim to have a glass of water on your table at all times and alternate between two drinks or, if at a drinks party, aim to have a glass of water in between each drink too

⬤ Pick your treat meals: Accept the fact that it is December, there will be foods consumed that you don't normally eat and don't beat yourself up over it, life is for living and health is all about balance, so just pick your meals that you know are going to be unhealthy and enjoy them, guilt free.

Mood

⬤ Don't try to do too much: It's such a busy month, that it can become overwhelming, so be aware of that and don't lose the ability to say no! Pick the events that you really want to go to and say no to the others, sometimes saying no will give you time to recover and relax

⬤ Plan: Planning is key when it comes to all aspects of health - including your mental health. Plan out your schedule, your Christmas shopping and any aspect of December that you can and you will be amazed at how much calmer you become. Above all December is the month to have fun, live life and enjoy yourself and health can be a part of that, indeed it should be a part of it. Try to integrate some of these tips into your December and you will balance out some of the effect of the parties!

* Every week, Independent.ie features The Real Health podcast with Karl Henry, in association with Laya Healthcare. In this week's podcast, Your Fitness Gift Wish List independent.ie/realhealthpodcast

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