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Handy workout to burn off festive feasting

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Get moving: burn off excess calories over the Christmas period with Becky Wright’s go-to workout

I don’t know about you, but Christmas is my favourite holiday. I pretty much love everything about this time of year — the festive cheer, the cheesy music, decorating the tree, wrapping up warm to take long winter walks, and spending quality time with my family and friends. All these things make Christmas something to look forward to.

But there’s one extra element that makes it really special, and of course that’s all the amazing food that’s on offer! A big Christmas dinner and indulgent treats are very much a part of the festive season and, quite frankly, without them it just wouldn’t be the same would it?

So to say that Christmas is a tricky time to stick to your diet is an understatement!

I recently read an article in the British newspaper The Telegraph, that on Christmas Day the average Brit has already consumed their entire daily recommended calorie intake before they’ve even sat down to lunch, which on average takes place at 2.08pm!

It gets even more alarming: people eat an estimated 7,000 calories throughout Christmas Day — that’s a massive three times the amount of calories the average person needs in a 24-hour period!

And the final nail in the dieting coffin: the average person will gain 6lbs — which equates to roughly a dress size — between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day!

I know, I was in just as much shock when I read this.

So how to combat this and limit the potential damage to your waistline this holiday season?

First, I’m going to recommend that you eat, drink and be merry in a more mindful way. I don’t want to be a killjoy and suggest you say no to every tasty morsel paraded in front of you, I, for one, certainly won’t be saying no to the odd mince pie.

But if there is one thing you focus on, make it your portion sizes. Think of Christmas dinner as a sampling experience and just have a little of everything you fancy. The key word here is little! Stay well hydrated with water too, as this will help keep you feeling fuller, meaning you’re less likely to scoff down everything in sight.

Also, get moving in any way you can. If there’s ever been a better time to burn off those excess calories, it’s now. Don’t wait until the new year when you’ll have to put in even more hard work to shift those unwanted pounds.

My go-to workouts at this busy time of year are Tabata HIIT sessions. This is my current favourite: https://youtu.be/eA2WKlO_a6o

All you need for this workout is a timer. Set it up for eight rounds of 20 seconds of work, followed by ten seconds of rest. Complete each of the four blocks, doing as many reps as possible of each exercise in the 20-second work phase, and resting briefly in the ten-second phase. At the end of each block, rest properly for about 45 seconds or until your breathing has become steady. These are the four blocks of exercises:

Block 1

Pop squats

Slide and jump

Block 2

Alternating forward lunge

Jump squats

Block 3

Shadow box

Push ups

Block 4

Plank thrusters

Plank jacks

Give this workout a go, then let go of all your guilt about Christmas feasting.

Have a very merry Christmas and I look forward to bringing you lots of inspiring health and fitness advice throughout 2016.

• Becky Wright is a qualified personal trainer, nutritional therapist and international bikini fitness champion. She has worked with clients worldwide, including royalty. Contact her at www.inspirefitness retreats.com or becky@inspirefitnesscoaching.com

Limit the damage: exercises including pop squats will help to work off festive feasting
Be merry but mindful: beware of portion sizes over the Christmas period, stay hydrated and fit in exercise