Take a mind and body approach. I like to try and exercise every single day of the year – for the mental benefits just as much as the physical. Over Christmas, I aim low to keep things realistic, aiming for ten minutes of movement followed by five minutes of breathwork and two minutes of cold-water exposure, usually in the form of a cold shower. All three have been proven to dramatically boost dopamine levels, improve mood, reduce stress and raise metabolism.
Prioritise strength training. It’s the single most effective exercise modality for improving wellbeing as well as staying lean. If you only have time for one or two workouts a week, lift weights. Combine with a healthy step count for optimal damage control during these indulgent weeks.
Avoid working out when hungover. Alcohol is, sadly, a poison, which our body has to work hard to metabolise. Since exercise is also a stressor, it’s best to avoid the gym after a heavy night. If you feel like moving your body when hungover, opt for a long walk instead, making sure you’re hydrating adequately before, during and after.
Try intermittent fasting. Up until Christmas Eve, I’ll skip breakfast and have my first meal around midday, then finish eating at 8pm. This is a 16:8 fast and can prevent you from overindulging. We are all different, but this works for me as a form of damage control. Over the years, I’ve also found it keeps my energy optimal and means I can bounce back more quickly come January.