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Simple + Fun Ways to Maintain An Exercise Regime During the Festive Season

When you’re fully booked with Chrissie parties and enjoying the delicious foods of the festive season, exercise often takes a backseat. But getting your heart rate up can actually help reduce stress and boost your mood during the chaos of Christmas – here’s how you can easily make space for this vital activity.

The festive season, synonymous with joy and celebrations, often brings a multitude of gatherings, feasts and indulgences. While it's a time to savour culinary delights, it's also crucial to prioritise our mental and physical health, making exercise an invaluable component of the festivities. We'll explore smart and effective ways to maintain a consistent exercise routine amid the holiday merriment, ensuring a harmonious balance between festive indulgence and fitness.

Prioritise Morning Workouts

Embrace the power of morning exercise to kickstart your day on a positive note. Early workouts not only boost your metabolism but also provide a sense of accomplishment, setting a healthy tone for the day. Plus, you'll have more flexibility later in the day to enjoy festivities guilt-free.

Choose High-Intensity Workouts

Opt for efficient, high-intensity workouts that maximise calorie burn in a shorter time. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) sessions are perfect for those with busy schedules, offering cardiovascular benefits and boosting metabolism. HIIT is known for its efficiency and effectiveness in improving cardiovascular fitness, burning calories, and boosting metabolism. Here are some activities that you can incorporate into your fitness routine – and you don’t even need to set aside time for these, just get a few done before you leave for an appointment or celebration, or you can even do them on the way there.


  • Find an open space or use a treadmill.
  • Sprint at maximum effort for 20-30 seconds.
  • Walk or jog at a slow pace for 60 seconds.
  • Repeat the cycle for 15-20 minutes.

Jumping Jacks:

  • Perform jumping jacks at a fast pace for 30 seconds.
  • Rest for 15 seconds.
  • Repeat for 10-15 minutes.


  • Start in a standing position, then drop into a squat position.
  • Place your hands on the floor and kick your feet back into a plank position.
  • Perform a push-up, then jump your feet back to the squat position.
  • Explosively jump up from the squat position.
  • Repeat for 20-30 seconds, followed by a 10-15 second rest.

Mountain Climbers:

  • Get into a plank position.
  • Bring one knee towards your chest, then switch legs quickly.
  • Repeat at a fast pace for 30 seconds.
  • Rest for 15 seconds.
  • Continue for 10-15 minutes.

Cycling Sprints:

  • Whether on a stationary bike or outdoors, pedal at maximum effort for 20-30 seconds.
  • Cycle at a moderate pace for 60 seconds.
  • Repeat for 15-20 minutes.

High Knees

  • Stand in place and jog, bringing your knees as high as possible.
  • Perform at maximum effort for 30 seconds.
  • Rest for 15 seconds.
  • Continue for 10-15 minutes.

Box Jumps

  • Find a sturdy box or platform.
  • Jump onto the box, landing softly with knees slightly bent.
  • Step back down and repeat for 20-30 seconds.
  • Rest for 15 seconds.
  • Repeat for 10-15 minutes.

Incorporate Festive Activities

Make the most of festive activities that double as exercise. Join a winter sports game, go ice skating, or take a brisk walk to enjoy holiday decorations in your neighbourhood. Turning festivities into physical activities adds a fun and active element to the season.

Set Realistic Goals

Acknowledge that your routine may face disruptions during the festive season. Set realistic exercise goals that consider your commitments. Shorter, focused workouts can be just as effective, ensuring consistency without overwhelming your schedule. 

Involve Friends and Family

Turn exercise into a social activity by involving friends and family. Plan group workouts or active outings, fostering a supportive and motivating environment. Sharing the fitness journey enhances accountability and transforms exercise into a shared celebration.

Make Use of Quick Home Workouts

For days when time is scarce, have a repertoire of quick home workouts at your disposal. Bodyweight exercises, yoga flows, or short cardio routines can be performed without the need for extensive equipment. Below is a simple and effective yoga workout that you can do at home.  

Child's Pose (Balasana):

  • Start on hands and knees.
  • Sit back onto your heels, stretching arms forward.
  • Hold for 1-2 minutes, focusing on deep breaths.

Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana):

  • From Child's Pose, lift hips toward the ceiling.
  • Straighten arms and legs, forming an inverted V shape.
  • Hold for 1-2 minutes, pedalling feet to stretch calves.

Mountain Pose (Tadasana):

  • Stand with feet together, arms by your sides.
  • Inhale, reaching arms overhead.

Forward Fold (Uttanasana):

  • Exhale, hinging at the hips to fold forward.
  • Relax neck and shoulders, and let your head hang.

Halfway Lift (Ardha Uttanasana):

  • Inhale, lift torso halfway, extending spine.
  • Keep hands on shins or reach fingertips to the floor.

Plank Pose:

  • Exhale, step or jump back to a plank position.
  • Keep wrists under shoulders, engage core.

Chaturanga Dandasana:

  • Lower into a push-up position, elbows close to the body.

Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana):

  • Inhale, straighten arms, lifting chest and thighs off the mat.
  • Keep shoulders down and away from ears.

Downward Facing Dog:

  • Exhale, lift hips to the sky, returning to Downward Dog.

Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I):

  • Step right foot forward, left foot back.
  • Inhale, raise arms overhead, bending right knee.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then switch sides.

Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II):

  • Open hips and shoulders to the side, arms parallel to the floor.
  • Gaze over the front hand.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then switch sides.

Tree Pose (Vrksasana): 

  • Shift weight onto the left foot.
  • Place the sole of the right foot on the inner left thigh or calf.
  • Bring palms together in front of your chest.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then switch sides.

Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana):

  • Sit with legs extended.
  • Inhale, lengthen the spine, and exhale, hinge at the hips to fold forward.
  • Hold for 1-2 minutes.

Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana):

  • Start on hands and knees, then walk hands forward.
  • Lower chest toward the floor while keeping hips over knees.
  • Hold for 1-2 minutes. 

This home yoga workout provides a full-body experience, combining strength, flexibility, and relaxation. Adjust the duration of poses based on your comfort and fitness level. Always listen to your body, and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions. Enjoy your practice!

Dance Your Way to Fitness

Harness the festive spirit by dancing your way to fitness. Attend dance classes or simply dance to your favourite holiday tunes at home. It's a joyful way to stay active while immersing yourself in the celebratory atmosphere.

Schedule Active Breaks

Amidst the festivities, take short breaks to engage in quick exercises. Whether it's a set of squats, lunges, or a brief yoga sequence, these active breaks contribute to your daily exercise quota.

Practice Mindful Movement

Incorporate mindfulness into your exercise routine. Activities like yoga and tai chi not only provide physical benefits but also enhance mental wellbeing. Use these practices as a mindful escape during the bustling holiday season.

Set Non-Negotiable Workout Days

Designate specific days as non-negotiable workout days. Whether it's two or three times a week, having dedicated workout days helps maintain consistency. Treat them as essential appointments to prioritise your health. 

Utilise Travel Time

If you're traveling during the festive season, make use of travel time for exercise. Walking tours, exploring new places on foot, or performing bodyweight exercises in your hotel room are effective ways to stay active. You can even try using walking as a mode of transportation – instead of hopping on the bus to travel a few blocks, consider walking the distance, if you’re able to.

Stay Hydrated and Rest Well

Amidst the celebrations, don't forget the basics. Stay hydrated and prioritize quality sleep. These foundational elements support both your exercise routine and overall health during the festive season.

Balancing exercise with festive celebrations is not about sacrifice but rather about finding creative and enjoyable ways to stay active. By incorporating these smart strategies, you can savour the joys of the season while maintaining your commitment to mental and physical wellbeing. Remember, the key is to embrace the festivities while making intentional choices that prioritise your health. Cheers to a happy, healthy, and active festive season!

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