fitness

Michelle Bridges says doing exercise over the holidays is actually EASY.

Images: Instagram (@mishbridges)

Be honest: when we say ‘Christmas’, fitness is probably the last word you think of.

The festive season is synonymous with champagne flutes, floating in backyard pools and, of course, unleashing the inner glutton on December 25. But even if your holiday schedule is brimming with these very, ahem, important activities, we’re willing to bet there’s ample room in there to squeeze in a workout or two.

If you ask Michelle Bridges, “no time!” just isn’t a good enough excuse.

We spoke to the fitness guru to get her take on how to make exercise happen during a time when, ahem, no one wants to do any.

Michelle Bridges’ 6 tips for surviving the festive season.

Michelle loves taking her yoga outside

"What do you think the number one reason why people say they can't exercise is? And what do you think you've got bags of on holidays? So we can't really talk ourselves out of that one," the fitness guru says.

"The holidays is the best time to make sure you can get your training in. [You're] not having to do it at some disgusting hour like 5am; having a shower in the gym showers which, let's be honest, isn't exactly very nice; and rushing to get to work so you only get 45 minutes in when you'd rather have an hour.

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"On holidays you can train at a more reasonable hour ... and you've usually got a little more time to enjoy the workout. Plus you can do more active things outdoors, rather than sitting at your desk, even though you may train once a day. On your holidays you can get your training in, but you can be a lot more active."

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Michelle recommends doing your exercise in the morning over the Christmas break, so you don't have to even think about it for the rest of the day.

"I like getting it out of the way, getting the monkey off the back, so to speak - I don't like having it over my head. I like going about my day going, 'aha, I've already done my training session, yay!'"

She also applies this philosophy to the big day itself. Yes, this is probably quite a controversial idea for those of us who like to wake up on Christmas morning and immediately attack the croissants, but apparently there are a lot of people who start the day with a workout.

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"When you're out training on Christmas morning, everyone who's out there is in a really good mood - there are people running with Santa hats on, it's just fun. I like to either go for a run, or go to the beach and have a run on the sand then a swim," Michelle says.

"It's a really nice way to start Christmas Day - you know you're probably going into a truckload of food, so at least you know you've been outdoors, you've been active, you've done something that's good for you."

Michelle doing pushups by the sea.

One way to make exercising on holidays easier is devising your own DIY workouts, or taking guidance from a video tutorial. Michelle's 12 Week Body Transformation program includes a series of video workouts that are proving popular with her clients when they're travelling or at home with kids.

"A lot of the time people are going away on holidays and taking their computer with them. So they can do these workouts in their hotel room, their lounge room wherever they're staying, or if they can't get out because they have kids, they can do it at home," she says. "That's been one of the preferred options for training. Plus, you're not wasting any time ... you can get out of bed, put your gear on and get started."

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If online tutorials aren't your thing, it's incredibly easy to come up with your own training regimen - you don't even need equipment, just a pair of runners.

"If you're at home, go for a run - go 10 minutes out the door, then turn around and run back home. Or put together a circuit of five different exercises - pushups, squats, lunges, jumping jacks, crunches - do 20 of them each and do four rounds. If you've got a set of stairs, throw them in as well."

Now that doesn't sound too awful, really.

How will you be staying active on holiday?

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