Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Make STAYING fit in JANUARY easier by GETTING fit in DECEMBER!

Read on to see how you could WIN UNLIMITED PAYG CLASSES IN JANUARY!

It's now well into November and there are only 36 sleeps until Christmas, which ultimately means the advent calendars will be opening their first doors in 12 days time! You don't have to worry though, Christmas is a time that should be fun, and you can still enjoy the festivities with a few little tips. Over the past month or so I've been contacted by two different types of people, and I'm hoping this blog will help both types stay motivated and not worry too much about what they'll do faced with the worry of consuming roast potatoes, a few glasses of wine and devouring a tub of "Celebrations"!

Which category do you fall under?

1) Start in the New Year! Are you one of the people who have already committed to starting fresh in 2015, with new fitness goals and getting back on the diet bandwagon?

2) Super Motivated! Some of you are really going for it at the moment, and that's great! It's always good to have a goal and for some, that's Christmas. November/December is actually the perfect time to push on that fitness, but it's just as important to keep it going into the New Year & set new goals to work towards.

If you are in category one, then you've also more than likely admitted that your main problem is finding the motivation this time of year. It's cold, wet & dark and after a long day the last thing you want to do is an exercise class or run around the block. Diet is also usually a problem as the nights get darker and all you want to do is snuggle up on the sofa eating whatever is easier to prepare. It's difficult for me to keep you getting results if you're unable to commit yourself to attending classes or personal training sessions, so obviously my first tip would be to get along to a class, commit yourself! You won't really feel in the mood for it but I can guarantee by the time you leave you'll feel so much better and more likely to go home and eat healthy, sleep better and continue coming back over the darkest, coldest weeks of the year. For some, it's not just about motivation, it's about time constraints or money at this socially busy and expensive time. If so, then I hope the following will also help you if you can't make it to class.

  • Keep Moving - Do you have a Wii/Wii Fit? Do you have any other active hobbies that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home? If so, use them... Dig out the fitness DVD's and aim for at least a couple times a week.
  • Get out for long walks - When the weather is dry, this time of year is beautiful, and if you're reading this from Bournemouth then what a wonderful place to live! Get to the beach front, out to the forest or even just talk the long route to the shops (if you're going to have naughty treats, earn them first)!
  • Take up a hands on hobby - Don't laugh, but I love knitting and I'm trying to learn crochet. Apart from the end results, it's a great way to take your mind off anything that might be stressing you out, and even better, it stops you reaching for that tub of choccies left out on the coffee table ;-)
  • Portion up - Start now, as you'll have even less time when you're busy wrapping up all those gifts. Learn what a portion looks like by measuring up both commonly eaten foods and the naughty but nice treats you'll sneak into your diet in a few weeks. Do you know what a portion of cereal looks like (not a lot), or rice, or spaghetti? Quite often you'll be shocked at how little is in front of you. You can start by grabbing your cereal or granola and looking at the nutritional information on the box, how big is a portion (30g/45g)? Weigh it out, tip into a bowl and visually remember what it looks like or find a pot/scoop that just about holds the right amount and use that as a measure each day. Same applies with everything, learn what a portion of orange juice looks like, how many spoons of natural yogurt etc. With snacks such as chocolate and mince pies, you don't have to forgo these treats but be aware of how many calories you are consuming. Weigh out a snack sized portion of choccies (100/150 calories worth), look on the back of the mince pie pack to see how many calories are in each pie (usually between 450-500 calories)! You can share the mince pie, cut into smaller portions, make your own, healthier mince pies, have the whole lot and just be careful about any extra snacks you consume that day or if you're feeling really motivated eat none and choose something healthy instead :-)
  • Enjoy a little of everything - Don't restrict yourself, you'll only crave more, but as above know your portions and try not to get carried away. Asking yourself if you REALLY want something may sound simple but often works.
  • Drink your 2 litres - Water consumption is a struggle in the cold weather so remember that fruit & herbal teas count! The best way to drink your water tends to be by having a 2 litre bottle and keep pouring it into a smaller cup. Guzzling 3 pints in the evening is never a easy thing to do, so start with a small glass of water when you wake up, and keep topping up throughout the day until your bottle is empty. Water will really help to keep you hydrated, especially if you'll also be consuming alcohol. It'll help you feel more awake and alert, less sluggish and keep your body running much more efficiently.
  • Avoid sugary soft drinks - Like alcohol, these will make you gain weight, so really think about what you are drinking. Avoid sugar filled juices, flavoured waters, energy drinks, fizzy drinks etc and if you do have them, once again look at the calories per portion and don't forget that these add up. Choose water instead where possible. Recent studies have shown that sugary drinks are more responsible for weight gain than food, due to the fact we don't think about drinkable calories as we do edible ones!
  • Restrict alcohol - Most of us like a festive tipple, and that is fine, enjoy it. Be aware though that alcohol is a major contributor for weight gain. Try to keep track of what you are drinking, and aim to drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage.
  •  Maintain a healthy diet for as many meals as possible! Try to eat healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners even if some of your healthier snacks get swapped out for not so healthy ones. If you've over eaten, you can reduce portions slightly to compensate but don't start skipping meals. Aim to keep in any green smoothies you've been making up as these provide you with vitamins, minerals and fluids that you need to maintain a healthy immune system but if you're munching on nuts in between meals, you don't have to add them to smoothies, same with fruit, make the smoothies more veggie based to bring the number of calories down.
  • Christmas Dinners - Enjoy this! It's once a year and a great excuse to sit down with the family. If you want healthier options, you can use sweet potatoes, home made gravy, go easy on the sauces, pile up the green veg and choose the smallest portion of Christmas pud for afters. Drink loads of water at the table, pull a few crackers and then have a well deserved afternoon snooze on the sofa ;-)
If you fall into the second category then there may not be much else I can say that will motivate you, but I hope that by reading the above you'll see how easy it can be to stay on track. Don't be too strict with yourself and let your hair down a little, enjoy seeing friends and family and start each day fresh. 

Carry on with as much exercise and healthy eating as possible and you'll see the following benefits:

  • Happier with body shape and size before Christmas
  • Less weight gain over Christmas due to better metabolism
  • Feeling healthier due to better hydration and immune health
  • You'll be fitter and stronger in 2015, meaning when you get back to classes/gym you'll still be able to push hard, getting better results faster than if you stopped working out before Christmas.
  • Keep it going in the New Year, set a new goal and in a year's time you'll look back and be pleased you started when you did!
To help motivate EVERYONE throughout DECEMBER I'm running a competition... Whoever attends the most Pay As You Go classes in December will win unlimited PAYG classes throughout the whole of January! So come along to any PAYG class in December and make STAYING fit in JANUARY easier by GETTING fit in DECEMBER! Good luck and I'll see you soon at any of the following:

ZUMBA: Every Monday 7:35pm-8:25pm at Epiphany School, first class FREE (free class will not count towards your total), regular price £5. Please pre pay for Monday 22nd & Monday 29th December 2014.

AEROBICS: Every Tuesday 9:30am-10:15am at Moordown Community Centre, £5 per class. No class on Tuesday 30th December.

PILOXING: Every Wednesday 6:30pm-7:30pm Epiphany School, first class FREE (free class will not count towards your total), regular price £5. No class on Wednesday 24th December or 31st December 2014.

INSANITY (please book via

TUESDAYS - 8:15pm-8:45pm at Muscliff Primary School, £3 per class

WEDNESDAYS - 7:35pm-8:25pm at Epiphany Primary School, £5 per class. No class on Wednesday 24th December or 31st December 2014.

THURSDAYS - 6:15pm-6:45pm at Winton Primary School, £3 per class. No class on Thursday 25th December or Thursday 1st January 2015.

If you don't win the competition or the class atmosphere doesn't appeal to you, I'm offering likers of my Facebook page the chance to claim a half price Personal Training session, just £15 for 60 minutes if you like this page: and then email to book your session before 31st January 2015.

Make 2015 your healthiest and fittest year yet!

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