Christmas is soooo close, just 5 days away, and the temptation to eat, drink and be merry, whilst staying firmly glued to the sofa is all too real. Last year I wrote some tips focusing on dealing with food at Christmas, this year I’m focusing on staying active.

322916139_2a16f7f5bcPhoto by Cindy Funk

Staying active over Christmas is the best way to help fend off winter blues as the nights draw in, and also help control some of that Christmas excess, but it just seems so hard to get out there when it’s dark and cold, so here’s some of my top tips to help you keep the motivation over the Christmas period.

  • Change your timing
    If getting up early and heading out in the dark and cold is too depressing, or going out in the dark after work just isn’t happening, then try looking for different times to get your exercise in. Can you head out on your lunch break or save your outside sessions for days off when you can exercise during daylight hours.
  • Mix it Up
    ust because you’re a runner doesn’t mean all you’re allowed to do is run, and if you’re a gym bunny it doesn’t mean you can’t try something new. If you’re struggling to find time to run now lots of parks are shut by the time you finish work, or slogging to the gym is a chore in the dark, then try something else. Get a workout DVD, try a yoga class, or look up free skate sessions at your local skating rink.
  • Make the Most of Winter Opportunities
    If your local council has put up an ice skating rink, or there’s an ice sculpture trail or similar near you then make the most of it and disguise your exercise as fun! This works at home too. Remember all those games on the Wii that involve getting up and moving around. Why not give them a try again.

4193577946_52d5554ccdPhoto by Justin Kern

  • Treat yourself
    Buying some swanky new kit is a great way to get yourself motivated to go out and show it off! has some good discounts if the budget is tight!
  • Set Goals
    Having a goal to hit, and a date to hit it by is a great motivator. Promise yourself a treat when you get there. They can be small goals. 2 of mine are a 2 minute plank and 10 press ups by Christmas, or a larger one like running a certain number of miles each month. Signing up for a spring race is a longer term goal that’ll keep you moving to train for it.
  • Get involved
    Last year I took part in Janathon and it meant that despite snow, wind and rain I went out running, normally that snow would have kept me indoors on the sofa. It wasn’t always fun, and it wasn’t easy, but it certainly kept me active!