Running Through Christmas
Christmas is fast approaching and with it comes more eating, drinking, partying and celebrating. Christmas is a time of celebration so it is important to embrace it and have fun.
BUT, it is also a time when many people abandon their healthy eating and exercise routines, which could lead to weight gain, poor energy, sluggishness and ultimately poor running performance.
So, here we give some HINTS and TIPS on 3 key areas of health to help keep you running into and through Christmas.
We give hints and tips on:
Eating Through Christmas:
DID YOU KNOW……..
So, what are the principle reasons for weight gain at this time of year?
The answer to this question is fairly straightforward. It is generally linked to:
Research surveys show that the underlying reasons for this include:
BUT, it is important to note that this is a generalization; some people do not change their eating/exercise habits at all during this period, however they appear to be in the minority
Hints and Tips to keep your NUTRITION on track over the festive period:
Drinking Through Christmas:
DID YOU KNOW…….
Note: This is the average, so many people may be drinking more!!
Hints and Tips to keep your DRINKING on track over the festive period:
1) Alternate each drink with a glass of water - this could reduce the amount you drink overall but also reduce the dehydration associated with alcohol. Maybe think about keeping a jug of water close at hand if entertaining at home or if at friends/family. If out at an event ask for a jug of water for the table.
2) Stock up on non-alcoholic alternatives - for you and any other guests who may want to limit their alcohol intake. There is now a wide variety of wines, spirits and beers to take advantage of so it’s really easy. Some examples brands include:
3) Always use a measure for spirits or wine – aim not to free-pour because it can make it almost impossible to know exactly how much you are drinking. You can actually order a FREE wine and spirit measure online via Drinkaware – the charity we mentioned earlier…so there is no excuse!!
4) Downsize your drink by serving in a smaller glass - this can make all the difference, especially for wine because as we know wine glasses seem to be getting bigger and bigger. Reverting back to the traditional size white wine glass may be a good idea.
5) Avoid topping up your glass or letting anyone else top up your glass – try to finish one drink before pouring another. This way you can track your intake over the course of the evening more easily.
6) Ensure you EAT before drinking - whether you are entertaining at home or going out. Drinking on an empty stomach is known to hasten the cerebral and physical effects of alcohol
7) Alcohol has a HIGH sugar content - so could contribute significantly to weight gain.
8) Try to avoid alcohol during the day - drink alcohol only in the evening.
9) Plan some alcohol-free days - between Christmas and New Year
REMEMBER the side effects of over consumption of alcohol could impact running performance. The dehydration, headache and poor sleep associated with alcohol could lead to slow pace, increased risk of injury, digestive issues, nausea…and more.
Running Through Christmas:
WHAT CAN GET IN THE WAY OF TRAINING?
Over the Christmas period there is generally a change in most people’s routine including;
All of which can result in a change to an individual’s training routine.
BUT, also at this time of year more time is dedicated to Christmas preparations including:
There is so much to do at this time of year, which can mean our running suffers
So what can we do to ensure our training doesn’t suffer this Christmas?
Hints and Tips to keep your RUNNING on track over the festive period:
BUT, the important message is: don’t beat yourself up if you cannot achieve what you would like to any given day. Let yourself off the hook but then get back on track as soon as you can. This goes for running, eating AND drinking. If/when you have an “indulgent moment” be kind to yourself, tell yourself it is ok…and then get back on track.
The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and
advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.
If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact
your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.
Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell met at as nutrition students (Institute for Optimum Nutrition, London) and became lifelong friends and nutritional buddies! Both have a love of running and a passion for nutrition, delicious food and healthy living.
Together they host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.
We are excited to be able to share our expertise, experience and short cuts with you. We hope you'll join us again. If you'd like to know more about us and She Runs Eats Performs please check out our TRAILER.
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Aileen and Karen