Keeping fit, happy and healthy over the Christmas holidays with YMCA Gym

As a most difficult year draws to a close, it is more important than ever to enjoy this Christmas break by having fun and taking care of yourself at the same time. Over indulging does not mean you have to abandon all of your fitness goals! YMCA Gym Duty Manager Emma Sleight, shares her top tips on maintaining your physical and mental wellbeing during the festive season.

Get Outside

It may be hard on those cold mornings, but getting outside really does help the mind and body. Why not take in some beautiful scenery on a walk or get on those new trail runners that you got for Christmas? There are so many health benefits to being outdoors – not only can it boost your mood, but boost your energy too!

Try a new class or exercise

Set those New Year resolutions early this year. There’s no better time to start than now! Why not try something new to kickstart your goals? There are so many resources out there! You can follow one of the videos uploaded earlier this year to our Facebook page. Or try any of the videos available on YouTube of classes such as Yoga or, something I’ve recently tried and recommend, Barre – a fantastic overall body ballet inspired workout.

If you’ve never tried running before, get outside for a quick run around the block or running intervals. You never know, you might love it! Look out for Danny’s 30-minute Fitness Booster sessions in the new year, if running becomes your new favourite thing!

Enjoy yourself!

After such a challenging year, it is good to take time out for yourself and enjoy the festivities. Indulge in your favourite foods (in moderation of course) and video call friends and family. Make sure to have fun over the holidays – it is so important to laugh and smile! Christmas should always bring so much joy to all. So whether it’s bingeing on your favourite Netflix show, treating yourself to some online shopping or going out for a post-Christmas dinner walk, do something for you!!

Water and Sleep

Amidst the Christmas festivities it is still important to keep hydrated. This can be forgotten when food and alcoholic drinks are involved, so make sure water is being taken on in between meals. A good night’s sleep is essential – try to ensure that you can get at least 7 hours, 8 hours if you can!

Exercise in the morning

While no one is expecting you to train on Christmas Day, or at all over the festive period, if you do, try to train early in the morning. It’s a great way to start the day, can boost your mood and set you up for a strong start for the rest of the day!

Shorter session times

If time is an issue over Christmas, why not attempt a few shorter sessions. HIIT (high intensity interval training) sessions are a great way to do this! Whether it’s a short Tabata timed session (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 4 minutes, the most effective exercises are Burpees, Push Ups and Jump Squats for example) or a bodyweight EMOM session (every minute on the minute with various exercises from 10 mins to 20 mins, again, can include various exercises such as Burpees, Air Squats and Sit Ups to name but a few), any bit of activity that you can squeeze in can be so effective!

Whatever you do this Christmas, make sure you have fun! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of the YMCA Gym team 🎄

Thank you for all of your support over the past year and here’s to a better year ahead for everyone!