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  • Writer's pictureBreanne Kunstler

Ho, ho, oh no: 6 tips to avoid turning into a plum pudding this festive season

Our member and physiotherapist, Shae Martello, helps us to keep motivated to keep moving and avoid stacking on the weight over the holiday period.

Finally, the party season is here! Every weekend from now until the New Year is booked up with social engagements. For most of us, this means more time with friends and family, but these social events can come at a cost, and I’m not talking about the cost of catering. Multiple studies in Western societies have reported average weight gains among adults during the period between mid-November and mid-January that were about 0.5 kg, and that extra weight was unlikely to be lost in the following year. Here in Australia we are very lucky in the way that our summer holidays coincide with the festive season. However, we still seem to on average, walk away from summer with a “winter coat”. Not this year! Here are some tips for staying health over the holiday period:

1. Get outdoors

Get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. Make sure you are sun smart and keep yourself appropriately hydrated. Exercising in the morning or early evening will give you a dose of vitamin D and some fresh air, without exposing you to the harsh mid-day heat and UV rays. Exercising in the morning encourages better food choices throughout the day, according to a study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

2. Keep the focus on fun, not just food

Arrange to meet family and friends at a park for a game of Ultimate Frisbee instead of sitting indoors around a dinner table.

3. Watch your portion sizes

If you really want a serving of Grandmas Pavlova, have it! Just don’t have 3, followed by a second serving of roast pork.

4. Plan your trips

If you’re venturing on a family road trip, have a look at your route before you leave. Schedule stops at a park or truck stop off the highway where the kids or dog can have a run around. Pack some healthy snacks and enjoy some vitamin D while you stretch your legs. Driver Reviver Australia recommends a 15 minute break every 2 hours.

5. Make the most of your time off

Make a “to do” list. Keep yourself busy, but make sure you schedule in some down time.

6. Go easy on the grog

Not only does alcohol contain a lot of calories, but it also breaks down your inhibitions and judgement. If you’re planning on drinking, make sure you arrange a lift home from someone who is not drinking, or pre-book a taxi.

So get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. Make family time more about fun than feasting. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, but no one wants to go back to work next year with a “Santa” belly.

Shae Martello is a physiotherapist at Healthfocus Physiotherapy in Albury, NSW. Shae has an interest in researching how nutrition affects recovery in adjunct to physical activity, and also safe resistance training for adolescents to improve performance. Shae promotes physical activity to her clients by brainstorming how it can fit into their daily routine and helping them explore other options if they do not have an interest in conventional activities. Shae's personal favourite form of physical activity is resistance training and she attempts to educate all clients on the benefits, especially adolescents. Call (02) 6041 5744 to make a booking to see her today!

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