How to avoid the worst gift this festive season – a Santa bod

Balanced approach: Bondi Beach based trainer Dylan Rivier says the trick to surviving Christmas is to be mindful of your choices while not stressing too much.
Balanced approach: Bondi Beach based trainer Dylan Rivier says the trick to surviving Christmas is to be mindful of your choices while not stressing too much.

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Santa is a man who’s easy to love. He’s jolly and kind and brings you presents. Who doesn’t want to hang with Santa? There may be few however, who want to look like him. Besides the excess grey hairs he sports, that belly that wobbles like a bowlful of jelly will not make the beach insta photos look too hot. 

The trouble is, Christmas is not just a time of joy and peace, but also a time of excessive eating and slightly irresponsible partying. 

Luckily personal trainer Dylan Rivier has some advise to keep that Santa-bod at bay. 

Be sensible, but don’t worry too much over the Christmas period. Remind yourself you got there in the first place and you can get there again.

Dylan Rivier

“If you’re going to go out and have a few drinks, try and eat before you go out. Often you might skip a meal or two, or snack on party food while drinking empty calories. The next day – perhaps a bit hungover, you may not eat as well as you normally do, so try and get a good meal in before you go.”

He also advises that you think about the types of alcohol you consume. “Certain wines and spirits are better than others and beers are generally not the best.”

No bowls of jelly: A few simple tricks like getting enough sleep and eating before you go out will help keep that dreaded Santa-bod at bay.

No bowls of jelly: A few simple tricks like getting enough sleep and eating before you go out will help keep that dreaded Santa-bod at bay.

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One of the most important ways to avoid blowing out over the Christmas period is simply to get enough sleep.

“It’s been proven that not getting enough sleep can be bad for your health which in turn impacts your well being as well as your fitness,” said Dylan. A lack of sleep can mean you have less energy to exersise or will encourage you to make poor food choices. 

Recent research from the new Heart Foundation's National Physical Activity Plan revealed only 20 per cent of adults meet the national guidelines for enough exercise (30 minutes, five times a week) while only 7 per cent of Australian children get the recommended one hour a day of exercise. 

Over Christmas, these numbers are sure to look even worse. Dylan suggests trying to stay active, walk to your party or perhaps try and fit in a few bodyweight exercises between beach swims. He does make a point of stressing however, that you shouldn’t worry too much about it. Having been in the industry for over 15 years, Dylan says that fitness levels go through peaks and troughs. 

“It’s silly to think you can maintain your fitness levels all the time. Be sensible, but don’t worry too much over the Christmas period. Remind yourself you got there in the first place and you can get there again.”

The silly season is one to let loose a little, unwind after a year of constant pressure and hard work. Allow yourself to have fun, knowing that in the new year you can always get yourself back on track.

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