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Top Tips on exercise over Xmas

With so much temptation around, it’s no surprise that most people shun their workouts and skip their healthy living regimes over the Christmas period. They expect to eat more, to exercise less and to pile on the pounds – passing it off as extra winter insulation!

But exercise abandonment and weight gain needn’t be a given. There are ways of surviving the Christmas celebrations without turning into a miserable Scrooge.

Here’s some top tips on what to do over Xmas to help keep yourself in shape. But remember to follow Coronavirus regulations at all times.

Walking

The first lockdown in Wales saw thousands more people walking with their family.

We live in Wales, so there’s plenty of picturesque places to stretch your legs.

Walking at a pace of 5Mph could burn 544 calories per hour. Using walking poles you could burn up to 46% more calories compared to walking without poles.

You could try some of the suggestions from the National Trust or Natural Resources Wales, to get you started.

Cycling

It’s the time of year when Santa brings plenty of bikes down the chimney. What better time to start changing habits and getting out for a ride?

Cycling is a low impact activity and one of the safest ways to exercise without risk of over-exertion or strain to muscles and joints.

Why not check out cycle charity Sustrans’ website at www.sustrans.org.uk for all the safest routes on the National Cycle Network. Or have a look at Welsh Cycling’s website at www.welshcycling.co.uk for some alternative options to consider, such as BMX, mountain biking and cyclo-cross.

Home workout

The Welsh winter weather can often cause a washout to your outdoor exercise plans.

One thing 2020 has shown is that we can be creative and exercise at home, without the need for expensive equipment. 

A 30-minute session could burn between 150 and 500 calories, depending on each person and how hard you work.

We’ve pulled together some sessions for you to try – from gentle to advanced.

Running

Running at a steady pace can burn up to 600 calories per hour, but if you’re new to running don’t try and run a marathon before you can a mile! Start out slowly by doing some interval running. Run for two minutes and then walk at a fast pace for one, repeat that seven times to get a 20 minute work-out and as you improve add an extra minute to your running time until you can run continuously without the need for the walk in between.

 

Make sure you’ve got some comfy kit, and appropriate footwear, and Wales is your oyster.

Join the free Parkrun community, or try Welsh Athletics for tips, ideas and challenges.

Table tennis equipment

Table Tennis

Before you dismiss table tennis as simply a spot of holiday ping pong, consider that speeds reach over 100 miles per hour.

You don’t need an expensive table. Getting going could be relatively cheap with a bit of imagination.

As a novice, you can gently loosen your muscles and improve mental concentration. As you improve, you can get your heart racing for a more strenuous workout.

Depending on your size and fitness you could burn up to 250 calories an hour.

 

Remember to exercise safely at all times, keep within your limits and make sure you're exercising to suit your own personal circumstances. 

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