Ditch The Guilt And Feel Good This Festive Season

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December 21, 2022

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With the end-of-year holiday period upon us, many of us here at Sweat and in the wider Sweat Community are looking forward to the chance to unwind and spend time with our loved ones. Whether you’re getting ready to celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, are at home or abroad, or simply relish a bit of downtime to recharge your batteries, it can be a tricky time of year to stick to a consistent health and fitness routine

If you’ve come searching for low-calorie holiday recipes or advice on exactly how long you’ll need to work out to burn off a roast dinner with all the toppings, you’re going to be disappointed. Seriously - there’s far more that goes into having a happy, healthy holiday season.

While we understand how easy it can be to feel a sense of guilt when your usual routine goes a bit AWOL during the festive season, especially if you’ve been working hard to create healthy habits and achieve your goals, we believe a healthy lifestyle goes hand in hand with balance, enjoyment, socialising and celebrating. 

If meal prep and regular Sweat sessions need to be pushed aside to make room for family gatherings, work functions, friendsgiving or friendsmas celebrations, or a few weeks of chilling out and recharging to better your mental wellbeing, you’ve got a big thumbs up from us. The more joy in your life, the better.

From us to you, here are some of our top tips for making the festive period feel great.

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Move for your mood

Life can get a little topsy-turvy over this period, so don’t be afraid to make some tweaks to your exercise routine

If sticking to your regular Sweat schedule makes you feel your best, power to you! We love to see it. Otherwise, we suggest moving your body when you can in ways that make you feel good. Remember, reaping the benefits of exercise doesn’t always have to involve a structured workout. 

You could enjoy a hike, a bike ride, a snowball fight, a swim, a game of tennis, a dance party, or an afternoon of backyard cricket. If life is feeling a little crazy, a short stroll around the block or a yoga flow in your bedroom might be just what you need.

Focus on moving your body to have fun, feel good, get fresh air and boost your mood, and cast aside any thoughts about missing workouts or burning off calories. 

Adjust your expectations

If you’re someone who normally smashes out three workouts each week and your December calendar is already looking jammed, expecting to carry on as usual might not be realistic. 

When you’re booked and busy, don’t be afraid to reign in your goals or expectations if you need to - the last thing you need is more pressure. Still up for a workout but short on time? Check out the Express workout collection in the On Demand section of the Sweat app!

Water is your best friend

Over the silly season when there are plenty of occasions to eat, drink and be merry, one of the easiest things to forget about is hydration. You’re wondering why you feel so lethargic and your digestion is feeling off, only to realise you’ve only had one glass of water all day. Oops.

Drinking plenty of water helps to support a range of bodily functions, including digestion, skin health, brain function and the transportation of nutrients to your cells. Staying hydrated is also essential if you’re in a hot climate or drinking alcoholic beverages as they dehydrate you faster.

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Notice the good stuff

One of the best things you can do for your health and mindset at any time of year is to practice gratitude. The holidays can come with unique challenges around relationships, finances and stress, but doing your best to focus on everything you are thankful for can make a big difference. 

Not sure how? Each morning when you wake, you could write down three things you’re grateful for from the previous day (something Sweat trainer Kelsey Wells is a big fan of), get into the habit of mentally saying “thank you” each time something good happens, or verbally express your thanks to the people around you. 

Making gratitude a priority can also help on days when things aren’t feeling so festive. This isn’t necessarily an easy or happy time for everyone, so if that’s you, try to be gentle with yourself and know that you’re doing your best. Looking for something extra? You could also check out these beautiful self-love affirmations!

Fit in fruit and veggies

Christmas pudding and sufganiyot might become their own food group during the festive season, but you’re going to feel so much better if you continue to eat some fruit and veg. Produce, fresh or frozen, provides your body with essential nutrients, fibre and hydration to help you thrive and keep your digestion functioning well, while also strengthening your immune system.

Some easy ways to continue getting your 5+ a day include keeping your fruit bowl topped up for quick snacks, always adding some salad or vegetable dishes to your plate, enjoying fruit as part of dessert, or having pre-cut veggie sticks and dips ready in the fridge.

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Be mindful of social media

This is a time of year when your Instagram feed is blowing up with holiday snaps and smiling faces, so it can be a good time to set some intentions around how you use social media. 

Perhaps you limit the time spent on it to be more present with your loved ones, check in with your mental health before opening apps, or simply remind yourself that what you’re seeing is a highlight reel. We all have ups and downs, and the holiday season is no exception to that!

Prioritise rest

At this time of year, you might be losing precious hours of sleep due to social events, longer work hours, or lying in bed mentally going through a mile-long to-do list. Besides recharging your batteries, sleep is essential for your mood, focus, immunity, stress management, athletic performance and reduced risk of serious health conditions. If you feel like you need more sleep than usual right now, listen to your body and do your best to rest!

Sweat is about so much more than your workouts

Feel your best - inside AND out

From the team at Sweat, we wish you all the best for the final month of 2023, happy holidays, and a whole lot of festive fun. We’ll see you in 2024 for another year of epic workouts, smashing goals, and discovering what you’re truly capable of. We can’t wait.

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A more empowered you starts with Sweat, and our editorial team is here to bring you the latest fitness tips, trainer recommendations, wellbeing news, nutritional advice, nourishing recipes and free workouts.

* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.

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