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December Fitness and Nutrition Tips

PostedDecember 8, 2017

We asked Natia van Heerden, our 2018 Fedhealth XTERRA Brand Ambassador and the Executive Chef at Summerfields Estate, for some simple tips to beat the bulge this festive season, stay fit and get ready for the 2018 Fedhealth XTERRA in February.

Fitness Tips for the Holidays

Says Natia: “A good place to start is to write down your goals for the 2018 Fedhealth XTERRA. Seeing it written down will motivate you to train regularly throughout the holiday season.”

 More of Natia’s exercise tips to keep you going through the holidays:

Pack Your Gear

If you’re going on holiday in SA, it’s very easy to travel with your bike. Explore new routes and trails and practise your single track riding. If not, running shoes, a swim cap and goggles don’t take up much space, so there’s no reason to leave them behind.

Follow a Training Program (from a Coach or Online Program)

Having a structured program will motivate you to stay on track, as you know what training need to be done ahead of time, and you can plan your days.

Train Early Morning

Not only is it nice and cool, but training early provides far more benefits; you feel refreshed after your workout and ready for the day. Your day is so much longer (nothing worse than spending your whole holiday sleeping), and then it’s done and dusted and you can spend the rest of the day relaxing.

 Get a Training Buddy

It’s been proven that training with a partner is better because you tend to skip fewer sessions.

Make it a Family Event

Grab the kids and let them cycle while you run. It’s fun for them and you get your training done. It’s also special bonding time. Or go for a hike together, its very good exercise for trail running.

Morning Core Exercises

Doing basic core and strength exercises on the beach early morning is a perfect way to keep fit and in shape. Choose a flat area, and do 10 minutes of sit-ups, lunges, burpees, etc.

Healthy Holiday Grub

As both a chef and a triathlete, Natia has a very good understanding of healthy nutrition required for training – especially over the festive season:

 Source Local Ingredients

There is nothing better than buying ingredients locally, not only will it be cheaper, but it will be packed full of flavour and nutritional value.

 Choose Organic, where Possible

Eating organic food should always be high on your priority list, as non-organic food are full of hormones and pesticides.

Buy from a Local Butcher/ Bakery/ Fishmonger

Compared to normal grocery stores, these individual stores are always a better option as they specialise in their produce. The quality is often better and therefore better value for money.

 Cook your Food from Scratch

Cooking at home holds many benefits. Let the kids help you prepare the food, as they’ll have lots of fun. You’ll also know exactly what’s going into your body, whereas eating food at a restaurant might have hidden calories (and costs much more).

 Choose Wisely

Stick to bread made with stone milled flour, whole wheat and rye. Rather choose sweet potato over normal potato, roasted vegetables over fries. Use fresh herbs, you’ll only know the difference once you’ve tried it.

Make Easy, but Tasty and Filling Salads

Salads are a great way to eat healthy, but still fill up. Choose quinoa or chickpea based salads with olive oil and balsamic as dressing.

Avoid the Pig-Out

Christmas day is notorious for eating until you pop. Don’t have the whole cake, plus the biscuit with your coffee, and the waffles at breakfast. Choose wisely, and eat in moderation.

Avoid Bottled Dressings and Sauces

Make your own tomato sauce, as store-bought sauces are packed full of preservatives and sugar.

Choose ‘Foodie’ Destinations

These restaurants are usually on top of food trends and are very health conscious.

Follow Natia on Social Media; Instagram, and on Facebook.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.