Sarah Maxwell counts down to Christmas Day the healthy way

The festive season can be a magical time but often means that good habits are thrown out of the window. However, maintaining your health and fitness levels during this time has a whole host of benefits. Exercise can help you combat stress, prevent weight gain, get you off the sofa and improve your nutrition choices. In addition it’s proven to boost your energy, and even helps you manage anxiety and depression.

Maintaining a level of health and fitness over the festive season makes it so much easier to move into January. This is traditionally the time when everyone else is is trying to motivate themselves and attempting extreme diet and exercise routines to make up for their Christmas excesses. Just think, you’ll already be ahead of the curve feeling and looking better than ever!

How it works

Aim to do all the challenges every other day and, on the days in between, factor in 10 minutes of relaxing self care. Adding this as a reminder in your diary really helps. I’m going to be posting short videos on Facebook and Instagram of all of the exercises listed in the challenge. Have a look at Instagram @sarahmaxlife and Facebook @sarahmaxlife to keep up to date and for the finer details of each exercise.

12 Days of Fitness

  • On the 1st day of fitness my trainer gave to me – a 1 minute plank
  • On the 2nd day of fitness my trainer gave to me – 2 power jumps
  • On the 3rd day of fitness my trainer gave to me – 3 lots of pelvic floors
  • On the 4th day of fitness my trainer gave to me – 4 inch-worms
  • On the 5th day of fitness my trainer gave to me – 5 burpees
  • On the 6th day of fitness my trainer gave to me – 6 press ups
  • On the 7th day of fitness my trainer gave to me – 7 jumping jacks
  • On the 8th day of fitness my trainer gave to me – 8 tricep dips
  • On the 9th day of fitness my trainer gave to me – 9 reverse curls
  • On the 10th day of fitness my trainer gave to me – 10 hamstring curls
  • On the 11th day of fitness my trainer gave to me – 11 lunges
  • On the 12th day of fitness my trainer gave to me – 12 crossovers (plank position)

So in the festive season of giving, how about gifting something to yourself for a change? Pause for a moment to think about what you need to support you, and all of the things that make you feel good. Give yourself permission to regularly take time out and enjoy some precious ‘me’ time – this could be a relaxing bath, drinks with close friends or taking time out to read a chapter of your favourite book.

I’m a huge fan of writing down my goals, intentions and planning downtime to recharge my batteries – it helps me remember to look after myself. It took me quite a while to get used to writing things I wanted and needed. After so many years of running around after everyone else, it wasn’t something that I took to straight away. I promise you it’s worth persevering with it until it becomes something you do automatically. Your health, mind and body will thank you for it!

A gift to yourself of better health, less stress, more energy and building self-empathy will be the best present you can receive this season.

Have a wonderful Christmas, love Sarah x

Sarah Maxwell is a multi award-winning weight loss, lifestyle and fitness coach. Find out more about her work… Facebook & Instagram: @sarahmaxlife Twitter: @sarahmax100

Nourish to Flourish – five-a-day

Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach Charlotte Lau asks whether five-a-day is actually enough Fruit and vegetables are part of a healthy, balanced diet and evidence shows there are significant health benefits to consuming the NHS’s recommended five portions of a variety of...

Keep in the know

Sarah Maxwell shares a second instalment of vital menopause info Menopause is a hot topic at the moment and has had a seismic shift in interest, giving us information and essential knowledge that we didn’t have previously. With this in mind,...

Nourish to Flourish – post-natal dietary

Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach Charlotte Lau looks into post-natal dietary requirements It’s no secret that the food we eat fuels our daily activities and it is especially important when those activities include caring for a newborn or breastfeeding. The time...