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Staying active over the festive period

Monday 1st December

For many Christmas is a time to unwind with family and friends, relaxing into a period of inactivity. This need not be the case; there are plenty of things that you can do as a group to stay active over Christmas time.

Family day out

After all the food has been eaten and there is a lull between Christmas and New Year now is the perfect time to go out and explore. Ensure everyone is wrapped up warm and head for a day at the beach or walking in the countryside. 

Getting out in the fresh air has proven benefits to your health, from strengthening your immune system to improving your blood pressure and helping with a good night’s sleep, spending time in the open is good for your health.

The UK has 15 astounding National Parks that are the perfect backdrop for an invigorating walk. There are also plenty of walking routes for those with limited mobility.

Swimming

Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise and is suitable for all age groups. Even if you are not a strong swimmer or have non-swimmers in your family it is a great way of spending time together and getting fit whilst doing it.  Swimming is a great low impact activity that helps burn calories, strengthen muscle mass, and improve cardiac endurance. 

By immersing yourself in water your body is able to work hard without impacting on the skeleton, this makes it an ideal exercise for those with stiff joints, sore muscles and is a useful aid to people who suffer with Arthritis or are overweight.

Swimming is also said to improve balance in the older generation reducing the number of falls they endure.

Indoors

If you really can’t bring yourself to go outside then why not get the family together to take part in a fitness DVD, or work out to one of the NHS  10-minute home exercise routines. Even an energetic game of Twister may help to increase activity levels over Christmas.

You could create your own trophies and reward schemes for exercise-based activities, to motivate the whole family to keep moving and stay fit.

Regular exercise throughout the Christmas period will keep you more energetic, boost your immune system and can help improve your mood. Plus it will make it easier to get back into your usual routine once the warmer weather returns or for a New Year fitness regime.

Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-102698/Three-health-benefits-sea.html

http://www.medicinenet.com/swimming/page4.htm

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/aging/retirement/10-health-benefits-of-swimming.htm#page=1

This article has been brought to you using public health information freely available online (click on links in the article for more information). Benenden Health has not provided any direct medical advice within this article.  Please consult the sources provided if you would like additional information or support or contact your GP for further advice. 

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