With Christmas and time off fast approaching, many of us are entering ‘holiday mode’, a pretty nice mode to be in.
However, when in such a mode, it can be easy to put physical activity and health on the backburner.
We list ways to stay active and healthy during the holidays and beyond
Why stay active and healthy during the holidays
Other than the obvious, being fit and healthy is always a benefit you can give yourself, keeping the kilos down and fitness up means no guilty feelings in January.
Returning to work in January is a classic time for people to feel guilty, usually while squeezing into work attire that fit perfectly back in December the previous year.
Keeping up with your physical activity and good health also sets you up for a great start to the new year.
Ways to stay active and healthy during the holidays
Beach Yoga or Pilates
Take advantage of our beautiful coastline by joining in beach yoga or Pilates sessions.
Many popular beaches offer outdoor fitness classes during the holiday season, and most are free to join.
Exercising on the beach offers a unique workout experience and allows you to make the most of Aussie beaches in summer.
Just make sure you wear appropriate sun protection – that’s sunscreen and long sleeves, sunglasses, a hat and of course, your regular skin check.
Gardening and DIY
The holidays are a great time to crack on with (or begin in the first place) one of those projects you’ve been thinking about all year.
Engaging in gardening and DIY activities go hand-in-hand with physical activity by involving digging, planting, sawing, painting and lifting, which contribute to cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength.
These activities often require various movements like bending, squatting and reaching which improve flexibility and joint mobility.
The sense of accomplishment and stress relief that gardening and DIY projects offer further contribute to mental health too.
Outdoor Rather Than Indoor
Replace some, or all of, your indoor plans with friends and family with outdoor ones. This means, for example, Christmas lunch in a park or national park rather than around someone’s table inside or in a restaurant or pub.
Having these meals outdoors does mean planning and bringing food, but it encourages everyone to be a little more active by making use of large grass areas and any walking tracks around.
As an added benefit, cleaning up is also usually much easier, especially if you use paper plates and cups (not plastic).
As yet another added benefit, it’s much cheaper than at a restaurant or pub.
Activities Rather Than Drinks
For many of us, this time of year means increased alcohol consumption, which comes at an increased cost.
Instead of meeting friends for drinks, try a daytime activity, Australia has a lot to offer.
- Kayaking or canoeing. Or another form of watersport. The summer holidays are a great opportunity to take advantage of Australia’s sunshine and coastline, so enjoy it before you’re back at work
- Bushwalking, not when it’s hot. This can be tough in summer with heat and snakes in some (many) locations, but a coastal walk or even somewhere in a cooler area can really keep you active and leave you feeling refreshed and that you did something active over the holidays
- Backyard cricket. An Aussie classic, a bit of backyard or local park cricket is a great way to socialise, stay active and reduce the alcohol intake
Make efforts to minimise your alcohol consumption these holidays.
Beyond the holidays
Staying active and healthy during the holidays is great, but what about continuing the regime?
New Year’s Resolutions.
Did you know that losing weight, getting fit and healthy and being more active consistently top the New Year’s Resolutions charts?
Financial goals are also up there.
It’s well known that continuing or maintaining healthy lifestyle changes is often easier than starting new ones.
There are a few reasons why:
- Over time, healthy habits become ingrained in your routine and as they become a habit, they require less conscious effort and thought to maintain.
- People who have opted for healthy habits typically experience positive changes in their physical and mental wellbeing. This positive feedback creates a sense of achievement and motivation, making it more likely to maintain the positive momentum they’ve already built.
- Looks and reputation also play a role for many people, as when they see positive physical changes and get a reputation amongst friends and family for a better lifestyle, they often feel more motivated to continue.
Commit to positive healthy changes these holidays, you’ll be in a far better position than if you were to make changes after returning to work in January.
Make these holidays the time you switch to healthy options
A few healthy and active changes to your holiday plans can set yourself up for a better 2024.
Even simple small changes can end up making a huge difference.