It’s amazing to think that Christmas is just around the corner. Where did this year go? If you’re anything like us, on top of everything else you’re already doing, you’ll be trying to get yourself organised for Christmas. As if we weren’t already busy enough as mums, right?!
Here are our best tips to keep fit this silly season, no matter how busy things get!
1. Time out with the kids
Need to get out of the house? The kids want to have a play? Find something active to do rather than going to see a movie or just sitting down to have lunch. Depending on the age of your kids, you could go to a park, push the pram around, then let them have a play in the playground, throw a frisbee or kick a ball. Or if they’re a little older, why not going to play some skirmish. If your pelvic floor is up to it, you could even check out one of the trampoline centres where there’s a trampoline on every floor and wall!
2. Baby, it’s warm outside
With the weather really starting to heat up now, head to the beach or local pool to refresh with a swim. While you’re there, why not try to fit in some pilates or strength training exercises (like some of the moves you learn in the Body Beyond Birth program) and see if you can modify them to do in the pool. For example you could sit on a step and do bent knee leg fall outs – just remember to switch on your core and keep your tummy drawn in and try to move without letting your hips move. Why not push up on the side of the pool as if you were going to get out – keep pushing up and lowering for a great arm and shoulder workout! It will be entirely different to exercising on dry land and you’ll be using the water for resistance. And always maintain good posture, and take slow, controlled movements, turn on your core/pelvic floor and draw in your tummy. If anything hurts, stop immediately and try another move.
3. Holidays with your family
Holiday time… it’s finally your turn to take a well deserved break too. You’ll find there’ll be opportunities where you can get active together… in a relaxing way. Spend some quality time relaxing with your family and take a walk after dinner or before breakfast and just talk. Maybe it’s the beach calling and you can jump around in the surf together, followed by a walk along the beach. Wherever you are, whatever you like to do, just remember to have fun!
4. Christmas Gatherings
One of the best parts about Christmas time is catching-up with family and friends. Of course there’s normally plenty of delicious food and wine to enjoy, but why not organise to do something active before you enjoy your reward (that is, all the yummy things you’re going to eat)? By doing this, you’ll be able to really enjoy yourself afterwards. Suggest to meet your friends and family for a friendly game of cricket or touch footy, perhaps it’s even a game of chasings. Whatever it is, just try to fit something in that gets you all moving.
5. All I want for Christmas…
When your family asks you for ideas on what to buy you for Christmas, think about your health and fitness goals and what you might need to help you achieve them. What about trying something new like surfing lessons, or stand up paddleboard lessons, a new bike, new runners or some stylish active wear. What about a Body Beyond Birth program :-)? Make a wish list of all the things you’d love to find under your tree on Christmas Day, and then think about what you really need to help keep you active and motivated. You might even think about buying something similar for your partner, friend or family member so that you can both kick off a new year working towards achieving your fitness goals together!
6. Jingle Bell Rock
As daggy as it may seem, most of us love a good Christmas song. Put on some of your favourites and teach them to your kids while you have a good sing-song and boogie together. Shake, move, groove and dance around… feel like a kid again and just have fun. Who knows, it might even become one of your favourite family traditions!
7. Christmas Shopping
Unless you’re super organised, you probably still have some to do (like us!). Now we’re not suggesting you go to the shopping centre and do a full workout, however, you can certainly increase your activity while you’re there. Park your car a little further away from the entrance and get in a little extra cardio with the extra steps you take. Instead of using the lifts or escalators, take the stairs and work that butt! You’d be surprised how much activity you can fit in while just going about your day-to-day business, and it all adds up!
A couple of other things to keep in mind…
Be sensible with what you are eating and drinking over the Christmas period. If you have a glass of wine or alcohol, follow it with a glass of water so that you remain hydrated. (It will also help to slow your alcohol consumption down… and help prevent you getting a hangover!). Be aware of what you’re eating and if you’ve had enough, stop. It’s very easy to keep eating for the sake of it when you’re at a party with food all around. It’s really important to enjoy what you’re eating, but just know when enough’s enough!
Christmas really is a crazy time of year with so much going on, and for us mums, it can really be totally exhausting. While it’s really important to keep ourselves active so we’re healthy and strong, it’s equally important to listen to our bodies and rest when we need to. If that’s what your body is telling you to do, just do it… you deserve it!
We hope you all have a very happy and healthy Christmas with your families!
This article was written for North Shore Mums by Becky Dyer and Jackie Steele from Body Beyond Birth, an online postnatal exercise and nutrition program. Body Beyond Birth was created by womenʼs health expert and physiotherapist Becky Dyer and pilates instructor and super mum, Jackie Steele. Their mum-friendly 20-minute a day online program helps women take care of themselves and nurtures them back into shape after having a baby. Body Beyond Birth programs are priced at $165 for 12 weeks.