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Good Living
November 30, 2018
Do you know what “nice” kids are doing this Christmas?

That’s right…here comes this unique and -personally, for me- best holiday season of the year. I imagine you love it too -as much as I do- and you can’t wait for the gatherings, the treats, the delicious recipes (that I’m preparing for you!) but also, of course, the carefree moments with your family and friends. Unfortunately, or fortunately, desserts, treats, and generally the increased food and drink consumption are the protagonists this time of the year. That’s why we should be prepared in time and think ahead… How are we going to do that? Below, I have prepared for you, a list of exercises and activities which I personally think that will help greatly in starting the holidays positively, and in not having the anxiety of kilos -you might gain- and the extra calories you will consume! In that way, we will reduce the guilt, and also, we will not have difficulty in losing the kilos we might gain during Christmas... 

Start simply by walking…

And yet, 20 to 30 minutes daily will make the difference. All you have to do is to increase the speed a little more than the usual walking pace, and if you can, do some kind of interval training. Walk for 2 minutes at your regular pace (this will be your warm up) and then, start altering the intensity and speed every 30 seconds or 1 minute (at least initially). Keep going depending on your stamina and general mood. The important part is to feel that you are making a bigger effort than the usual.  It has been found that this fluctuation will help you burn more fat; moreover, walking or the so-called ‘’jogging’’ seem to reduce stress levels and boost the good mood and positive emotions.

Squats, planks, and lunges are the next solution!

Even if you are a person who loves working out or not, it is a fact that by doing some specific exercises daily, which will help you burn some more calories rather easily and quickly, it is definitely something that will draw your attention. We do not “burn” calories just by doing an aerobic workout, we also “burn” calories when we manage to increase our muscle mass. The plank exercises, lunges, and squats – for which I have talked to you about in previous diaries – are perfect to help you not only burn fat but also increase your muscle mass… You only have to adjust the repetitions or the weights that you use, depending on your strength. For that, it would be more appropriate to take advice from a specialist. So, with the assistance of a specialist, create a workout plan with the above exercises, and then simply follow it -at least twice a week- by doing it either in the gym or in your living room!

Start a new activity…

It’s only 1 month… It’s a chance for you to change a habit and actually start a healthier lifestyle.  Since you want to eat a little more, start a training program -a month earlier- and this time, do not leave it for the beginning of the new year. Yoga, Pilates, dancing, rowing, kickboxing, or a group training program in the gym, are perfect both for burning the calories of Christmas desserts and for socializing! At least once or twice a week, a 45’ / 60’ minutes program will make a difference and it will help you avoid the sudden weight gain, but also the difficulty of losing it...

Go on a trip!

Why not start your trips a little earlier this year? Take advantage of your weekends and holidays in order to go on excursions with your family and friends. You can go on a trip to a mountain, a lake, or a park. There are definitely several places that you can visit, play with your kids, or do plenty of activities with your friends. Cycling, climbing, skiing, and hiking are ideal activities for all ages. Moreover, do your research and get into groups that do such activities, and that will give you an extra motive…

Do you see now? It’s not that hard… Pick one of the above choices and simply do your best! Even a small effort can bring great changes, away from guilt -for the excess food that we ate- and why not…a new start for a significant change in your lifestyle, along with the new year!

Don’t you want some amazing recipes to eat a bit healthier this Christmas? I’m sure that you do…So, take a look below…

Bulgur feta chestnut and pomegranate salad

Bulgur feta chestnut and pomegranate salad by the Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Pumpkin soup

Pumpkin soup by the Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Christmas spiced roast chicken

Christmas spiced roast chicken by the Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Vegan roast

Vegan Roast by the Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Cod fillets in an aromatic red sauce

Cod fillets in an aromatic red sauce by the Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Akis

This article was written in collaboration with Kitchen Lab’s Nutritionist Anna Maria Volanaki, MSc, BDA, SENr.

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