At this time of year, it’s easy for all our good intentions to fly out the window. While eating, drinking and being merry is fabulous, there’s no need to let it compromise our holiday fitness!

I asked my amazing trainer, Stefan Venter from Aurora Active in Bowral, for his top tips on maintaining our fitness and weight throughout the holiday season. I was delighted by how easy they are to implement!

Do a Holiday Fitness HIIT Pre-Party Workout!

“HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) has been proven to last 48-72 hours of your metabolism,” says Stefan. “This means you can have a workout before a big event, or indeed Christmas Day, and it will take you through the next two days. It’s a great way to get a holiday workout in before Christmas and/or New Year and still have the residual metabolic effect over the two days of feasting!”

The best news here is that HIIT workouts tend to only last around 30-minutes, so it won’t take up much time from your day!

Try a Mini Fast!

“There is a lot of talk about skipping breakfast and fasting these days,” says Stefan, “and there is plenty of scientific evidence around the benefits of eating two meals instead of three.

“With this in mind, I’d suggest perhaps skipping breakfast if you’ve eaten a big meal the night before and then make your first meal of the following day a lovely salad. Bendooley Estate Larder on Bong Bong Street does an amazing salad of peas, beans, asparagus, mint and feta with lime sumac vinaigrette (amongst many other fresh choices!). It gives you a nutritious meal with lots of fibre that kick starts your day again.”

holiday fitness
A selection of Salads at Bendooley Estate Larder on Bong Bong Street.

Set Small Holiday Fitness Challenges

“When it comes to holiday fitness, people think they need to spend a long time exercising or do a lot, but it’s simply not true,” reveals Stefan. “If you are just consistent and do a little every day, you can easily maintain your fitness. Try doing perhaps 10, 15, or 20 lunges, push ups or planks each day through the holidays. It’s a great way to keep your holiday fitness program going, it gets your muscles moving and it takes no more than 10 minutes out of your day.

Try planking, lunges or sit ups for around 10 minutes each day to maintain holiday fitness.

Get the Family Involved!

“Over the break there will be family gatherings, so include some backyard games, or even a family walk after a big meal.” suggests Stefan. “It is a great way to get chatting, breathe in the fresh Southern Highlands air and enjoy some family bonding time.”

holiday fitness
If the family is over, get out in the yard and play games! You’ll enjoy the benefits the incidental exercise brings with it!

Sleep Well and Remember to Breathe!

“The holidays can be a highly stressful time for a lot of people,” says Stefan. “There are so many gatherings to get through, and so much to organise. For this reason alone, sleeping well and practicing breathing exercises is really important. If you can sleep well you are making better choices at lunch and dinner. Go to bed as early as you can and aim for at least eight hours a night.

“Also, take five or 10 minutes each day where you just breathe in for four seconds and then breathe out for six seconds. It will have an amazing impact on reducing your stress levels and help relax the shoulders and upper body.”

breathing exercises can really help keep stress levels down and help you make sensible lifestyle choices when it comes to food and drink!

Be Party Prepared!

This is a bit of a no brainer, really, but we all do tend to forget it. “Eat something healthy before you go to party and drink some water before you leave, as well as in between alcoholic drinks. It will make you feel a bit fuller as you get there and ultimately make you eat and imbibe a little bit less.”

Want to know ore about life in the beautiful Southern Highlands? Feel free to contact me at the Home and Hearth Property office at 373 Bong Bong Street, Bowral.