If the frequency by which Home Alone has appeared on TV as of late and the 'Last Orders' emails we keep getting are anything to go by, then we would say the festive season is firmly upon us. Stress levels are on the up, panic shopping engaged and hibernation is a go.
So when you're trying to juggle everything at once, and fight off the food-induced comas, what can we do to stay active this year?
Your daily routine may be disrupted, but it's easy to work in a few laps at the pool, or the occasional Pilates class amongst all the chaos. Here's our top tips for staying active this Christmas.
Hit The Gym
Whether you're a regular gym goer, or a total beginner, the gym is a great place to stay active throughout the winter. A lot of gyms are open 7 days a week, even over the Christmas holidays (though opening times might be reduced) so there's no excuse why you can't get out and get the blood pumping.
Check out what classes are on offer in your local sports centre. Pilates may sound boring to some, but it's fantastic for building core balance and strength. The great thing about Pilates is that if you know the basics, you can continue to train at home in your own time. If you can squeeze in a quick 15 mins of Pilates exercise each morning, you'll feel better for it throughout the Christmas period. It even aids digestion, especially helpful for those extra roast potatoes!
Swimming is a brilliant all-round work out and if you have access to a pool, then take advantage of it over the Christmas season. It works all the muscles, helps with core strength and water is a natural relaxant for the mind and body. It may seem like a lot of effort, but getting a few laps in each day will help your overall well-being, and keep your head cool during this manic time.
If you can't get out to the gym, or to any classes then how about a run? You can use your Strava and monitor your local runs, even if it's around the park or on a cycle path. Just getting the blood flowing, muscles moving and heart rate up will tire you over until you can get back on the bike for day-long adventures.
Be careful, though - you can have all the cycling fitness in the world but since running is weight bearing overuse injuries are easy to pick up. Start with 20 minutes or alternate between running and walking.
Wrap Up and Go Cycling!
It may be cold outside, and it may not look very inviting to ride your bike, but there's nothing stopping you and the roads and trails aren't restricted by opening times!
We have some great guides for winter riding, and if you're well prepared, clothed and protected then there's no reason to not go out and clock up from Strava miles this Christmas. Encourage your family and friends to join you and make it a social ride, and less of a workout.
With the run up to Christmas, we'll all have to take that deep breath and brace ourselves for the busy town shopping expeditions. How about incorporating a work out, of sorts, that can add a new dynamic to gift buying?!
Pop on your Strava, map out your route through the shops and power walk through the crowds and set yourself a time limit to be out of town by. If your gifts are heavy and add some weight resistance - even better! Make it fun for yourself, and make it active!
Staying active over Christmas may seem impossible. Your routine is thrown into chaos, and your energy levels are at a low, but if you set aside a few minutes a day to do some home stretches, get to the gym or fit in a ride, then you can keep up with your normal regular endorphin rush and maintain your great physical condition until you can resume your usual routine. Getting family and friends involved is a great way to stay active - but don't forget it's not everyone's cup of tea - be social and make some great Christmas memories with your loved ones.