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‘How to feel good over the festive season’

By jess brown, Monday Dec 23, 2019

Fun, friends and festivities – Christmas time is well and truly upon us.

As the calendar fills up with work parties, friend catch-ups and family meals, it’s easy for our usual exercise routines to fall by the wayside.

And that’s no bad thing: spending time with loved ones is always more important than sweating our way through a workout!

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But I think that finding a way to keep moving through this busy season could be the key to enjoying those happy moments even more – and avoiding the post-Christmas blues come January.

While many of us might associate burpees or a bench press more with sweat than self-care, regular exercise allows us to carve out time in our busy schedules just for ourselves.

It’s a time to stop thinking about our to-do list, to catch up with our fitness friends and to get those feel-good endorphins flowing.

As our days get busier, we need these things even more – yet exercise is often the first thing to go when our diaries fill up.

Adapting our routine can be hugely helpful in keeping hold of that me-time. If you usually attend an evening class, see if you can squeeze a lunchtime class in instead to free up socialising hours and pep up your afternoon productivity.

If getting to the gym for your usual hour-long session isn’t happening, try a quick HIIT class and still reap the same rewards.

I like to get a gym buddy involved – make a plan to switch up your routine together, and enjoy socialising while you sweat.

You could even add a fitness element into your plans with colleagues or friends by inviting– get them to join you for your favourite workout, before then heading for those after-work drinks and appreciating them all the more.

Keeping moving over Christmas is also great for our mindset. It’s important to take some time off and indulge a little, but that can easily snowball (pun intended!) into a complete loss of routine and motivation, leaving us feeling anxious about returning to exercise in January.

By adding an active element into our festive break, we can keep up some of that momentum. While most gyms do offer an amended timetable through the holidays, there are lots of other options too: do an at-home workout on YouTube, get the family and head out for a walk, or try a fun winter activity like ice-skating or dry slope skiing.

Above all, allow yourself to relax and enjoy the festive season.

Remember that fitness is a journey – a few weeks of a different routine isn’t going to make or break your goals. But by moving in a way that is fun, friendly and feel-good, you’ll maintain that motivation and be ready to keep working towards those goals as we start a new year.

Jess is head coach at F45 Bristol Central on All Saints’ Street, who are currently offering a two-week trial for £20, where you can come and try as many classes as you like to find your favourites and start to create that workout habit. For more information, visit

Read more: ‘There’s no better time to start exercising than now’

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