A Salford personal trainer has suggested how residents can stay fit and healthy over the festive period.
Studies have shown that Brits gain, on average, 1-5lbs over the Christmas period. With activity levels already being low, how do we tackle this through the holiday season?
Personal trainer Victoria Boast says: “Get a calendar and write down when your Christmas events are. If it’s something that’s really important to you like friends and family, you don’t want to be calorie counting and just go all in.
“Choose your indulgences and don’t have everything you’re offered. Choose what you want to enjoy and enjoy it at that time.”
“There might be your office Christmas party that you’re not too bothered about getting involved and eating loads. With work there can be peer pressure put on you to have certain foods, of course you can say no but people will feel like they want to conform. So potentially, eating less earlier on in the day is just saving calories and re portioning them out.”
Approximately 254,400 people living in Salford, 145,000 adults are active for at least 30 minutes a week however, this is 10,600 decrease from 12 months ago, according to Active Lives.
Only a third of children and young people in Salford achieve their 60 minutes of physical activity a day, with 23.1% of children leaving primary school overweight or obese, says the Chief Medical Officer.
When asked about how to stay active over the busy Christmas Period, Victoria said: “While the kettle’s boiling march on the spot, or whilst you’re brushing your teeth or waiting for something in the kitchen to cook, just finding little ways to get that activity in.
“It’s picking a couple of things that you can improve on in your life. We all know how to eat better and live better, we just don’t necessarily do it. It’s a case of picking a couple of things which you know you can improve on and start there.”
How you can stay active across Salford over the Christmas period:
Staying motivated and active is difficult, especially over Christmas. There are free and accessible ways of getting your extra steps in or counting your calories:
There are 16 outdoor gyms in parks across Salford which are free to use, outdoor gyms are a great way of trying out different exercise equipment.
Couch to 5K
Couch to 5k is the free running plan for beginners. The plan includes 3 runs a week across a 9 week period, you can find out more here
Join a weight loss support group:
Salford City Council offers ‘Weigh Ahead’ groups which are for adults looking to make long term choices about their weight. There are a range of classes online and in person.
Salford Health improvement
Salford Health improvement is a government organisation which is there to help improve overall health and wellbeing through lifestyle choices. Check out what they have to offer here
Some healthier choices you can make at Christmas time:
Park and walk
Parking your vehicle halfway to your destination and walking the rest of the way is a great way of burning extra calories or, get off the bus a stop or two early. A brisk 20 minute walk each day could reduce your risk of early death according to a study by the University of Cambridge.
When Christmas shopping, take the stairs
If you’re busy Christmas shopping, opt for taking the stairs rather than an escalator or a lift.
Incorporate a family walk at Christmas:
To get your children involved, why not plan some Christmas walks into your festivities. On Christmas eve, you could walk around your local area to see if you can spot Santa dropping off presents.
Set yourself a challenge:
Making competition with yourself or a friend is a great initiative to get moving and make healthier choices, for example: ‘How many extra steps can I get in each day’, ‘Who can walk the furthest distance,’ ‘Could I try and loose 2 pounds before Christmas?’
Opt for a mocktail
Alcohol can stimulate your appetite which causes overindulging. Make sure you avoid post night out takeaways by having food ready for you in the house for the next day. Other small changes you could make are, using sugar free or diet mixers, avoiding top us- wait until you finish your drink before going for more, have a smaller glass, avoid drinking on an empty stomach, or, try a non-alcoholic version of your favourite drink.
Take a look at Victoria Boast’s thoughts an advice on staying fit and active over Christmas. You can check out her Instagram here