Grace Essen: How to burn calories this holiday without gym

Grace Essen: How to burn calories this holiday without gym

Tuesday, December 29, 2015 1:57 pm


Grace Essen

Grace Essen



Grace Essen

“This is the most wonderful time of the year…” and we all know why. The smiles, the cool weather, jolly trips, carnivals, Christmas carols, events, parties, gifts, food, drinks and text messages from ‘long-forgotten’ friends and families. Indeed it is the most wonderful time of the year, but also the most tempting time to eat more, drink more, skip fitness routines, and have extra calories to contend with at the end of the holiday. On Christmas day alone, we are likely to consume thousands of calories according to reports. While it is hard to put a figure on the exact amount of caloric consumption, we all in our weakness for ice cream, chocolates, rice, fried chicken and BIG bottle of soft drink (have you noticed they are getting bigger these days?), find ourselves drowning in calories because it’s just too much to pass up such holiday delicacies.

Ideas on how to stay fit and healthy without compromising the desire to enjoy the goodies of the holiday season would be helpful at this time, I think. I don’t want to spend much of my time in the gym this holiday; I don’t want to gain any weight either. If you share the same sentiment, here are some tips that might help:

Every mum wants her house to look good for friends and family this season. How about giving your domestic help a little break, and doing some of the household chores yourself? Clean out the closet. Mop the floors. Do walking lunges to pick up clothes and the kids’ toys. Clean the bathrooms. Dust the windows. Cleaning for two hours, experts say, will burn as much as 415 calories, and if you choose to dance to Feliz Navidad playing in the background, you will burn even more calorie and not feel like it’s a chore!

One hour of rearranging the Christmas decoration to have a fresh new look for New Year or pulling them down at the end of the holiday can help burn 200-calories, climbing up and down the ladder will work your muscles.

Then head to the grocery store, two hours of window shopping burns 260 calories and if you are carrying shopping bags it will burn even more.  You can wear a monitor to see how high your heart rate gets while lugging bags around the mall, and when you get home, biceps-curl the grocery bags before putting them away.

Doing tasks efficiently helps save energy, yes, but doing them inefficiently will make you work harder. Leave the remote in the other room so you have to keep going back and forth to change the channel. Don’t bring all the groceries in at once so you increase the number of trips to and fro the car. How about splitting your shopping list into two or even three?

Take some time to walk around your neighbourhood. You can also create the opportunity by parking a little further away from restaurants, party venues, church etc, so you can walk and burn some calories while enjoying the cool breeze of the season.

When watching your favourite movie, have a glass of water or natural fruit juice instead of your regular drink. Also, drinking water before meals will help you eat less.

With assorted food coming from friends, family and neighbours it is so tempting to have a little too much. Stop when you need to, and keep leftovers in the fridge (if you still have some space, that is), better still, share with someone who has none.

Spending the holiday with friends and family makes us want to toss our fitness routine out through the window, thinking we might make them feel uncomfortable. Why not get them to join you in your fitness routine, this will give your loved ones the opportunity and also some confidence to get started on a fitness goal this new year. Christmas is not just about eating, drinking and partying; it is also about spending lots of quality time with loved ones, this could also be in the form of swimming, dancing and lots more.

It’s fine to enjoy the activities, the food and drinks that the holiday can offer, just make sure that you take good care of yourself (and your loved ones too) by not overdoing stuffs.

We often overlook just how much our bodies need proper rest and sleep when there are so many parties and gatherings to attend, and friends and families to visit. Usually when we get too excited, it is common for us to get too hyped up that we find it hard to sleep at night. Slow down, relax, take a deep breath, just chill so you can enjoy fully the rest of the holiday season.

And be sure to have ourselves a merry little Christmas holiday by taking away all the anxiety and stress with quick and simple meditation before bed and first thing in the morning, and also make it one of your daily routines this new year, it works like magic!

Happy New Year in advance.

You may reach Grace via email: [email protected] You can also follow her on twitter @GraceEssen and also follow her blog @Mum2MumAfrica.com.


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