Quick tips! Staying fit and healthy over the holidays


The holidays are here. Which means pudding, sweets, and delicious foods are taking over the table. Although it is easy to indulge in sweet and savoury treats, these holiday temptations do not have to equate to an unhealthy seasonal lifestyle. Keeping healthy and fit during the holidays is not as hard as it seems! Ironman athlete and personal trainer, Terri-Lynn Penney, shares her fitness tips for the whole family during this festive season.

Dive into fitness at the beach!

Hitting the beach for a braai? Take a long walk before or after the meal, soak in the sun and work up a nice and easy sweat. Take the kids along too!

Heading to Port Alfred or Kenton-on-Sea? Though hiking through those sand dunes may be a hassle, it’s a great workout! Race your family members up and down the dunes for a fun fitness challenge!

Looking for something more sporty? Take up a game of volleyball or tennis on the warm sand.

Wanting something more intense? A nice run on the beach is a great way to start the day, and running on freshly packed beach sand is great for the body!

Backyard braai or bnb relaxation?

If you have access to a pool, don’t hesitate to swim as much as possible! Swimming is an excellent full-body workout, whether you swim a few laps, try your luck at water aerobics or tread water for a few minutes, your body will thank you.

Struggling to get the kids off the couch? Take a soccer or rugby ball and go for a nice family walk. Let the kids kick or throw the ball back and forth while enjoying a nice brisk walk. Take the dogs too, they will surely need some cardio after all those sneaky under-the-table scraps!

Even though the holidays are a time to relax, try taking the stairs every once in awhile instead of the lift! This easy swap is great for keeping your legs in shape.

Going away from town, and away from your gym? Pack a skipping rope in your suitcase! Skipping rope for only 10 minutes per day is equal to running 5km on the road. You can get the kids involved in this one too.

For those with a green thumb, gardening is an excellent way to keep healthy! Gardening involves bending, stretching and lifting that engage the whole body. Along with a great workout, you’re also getting lots of fresh air and sunshine. Don’t forget to apply plenty of sunscreen!

Table temptations

While the holidays are a time to indulge, Penney believes “everything in life in moderation”. Instead of having five servings of roast potatoes on your plate, why not try two. If you are worried about eating too much during a meal, make sure to have a large glass of water beforehand, as the water will fill your stomach and take away some of those cravings.

A fan of a nice drink or two (or three)? Try diluting your glass of wine with some still or sparkling water, and lots of ice. Trade in that regular beer for a lite beer. Every little decision counts and makes a difference!

Stay positive and have fun!

The holidays are definitely a time for fun, relaxation and making memories with the family. You don’t have to run 10km to stay fit during this time, Penney emphasised, “just don’t do nothing!”. “Sometimes a rest is just as good as a holiday,” she said. So let yourself enjoy the sweet, savoury and lazy moments of the holidays, and know that staying fit and healthy is still possible for you and the family!

For training inquiries contact Penney at 083 504 7940 or penney.terrilynn@yahoo.com

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