I love Christmas far too much to start lecturing you all about healthy alternatives, relentless abstinence or unfailing moderation over the festive season. Lets just face the facts, take the hit and have some fun!

I have three children and there is simply too much jollity to be had and too many temptations within arms length. And no I’m not using the kids as an excuse. I freely confess that, even if there were no children in the household, I’m pretty certain I’d still wholeheartedly enjoy all that is involved in the magic and celebration of Christmas.

So my professional recommendation to you is have fun and don’t tie yourself in knots of guilt about what you might be eating and drinking. Of course I’m not advocating a free-for-all licence to completely disregard your fitness! We are all very familiar with the New Year need to shape up and atone for our previous few weeks of indulgence. Whilst you may well want to make increased health and fitness a 2015 resolution (and I hope you do!), we can still make our lives much easier by ticking over nicely during December and keeping ourselves reasonably well tuned.

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Winter weather in the Northern hemisphere is unlikely to inspire outdoor activities or put a spring in your step as you suit and boot up for the wind, rain and snow, so I’m going to advocate short sharp indoor exercises requiring no equipment. Just 8-10 minutes a day will make a huge difference. Lets keep it simple and manageable but truly effective. So stick to: Lunges, Plank Jacks and the classic Push-Up.

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And to add an extra dimension lets see if we can add a little bit of personal competition. Get through the Christmas season by setting a personal best. What is your Personal Best for push-ups – 5,10, 50? Whatever it is I can guarantee you that if you aim for your best once or twice a day – first thing you do as you get out of bed in the morning and last thing you do before climbing back into bed at night – I can assure you you’ll be adding 2, 3, 5 and more to your PB very quickly. See what you can do.

So for a few minutes a day perform this little circuit of exercises fine. It will hardly impinge on your day at all, but it will make facing your New Year fitness goals so much easier!

Plank Jacks

Targets core, shoulders and glutes.

Start in push up position with arms fully extended under you.All weight now supported on hands and toes. Jump both feet outwards a good 18 inches from start position, jump back to centre and repeat. Keep back flat, abs engaged and body aligned throughout.

2 x sets of 60 seconds

Pendulum Lunge

Targets whole lower body

Stand upright, hands on hips, feet shoulder width apart. Lift right foot and lunge forward to a 90 degree knee bend. Then push off with front foot and take it all the way behind you to reverse lunge position. Repeat back and forth on same leg for 30 secs before repeating on other side.

3 x 30 secs each leg

Full Push Up

The old faithful and one of the most effective targets of shoulders, arms, chest, back and core. Maintain body alignment and form through out. Don’t cheat and always drop to a 90 degree elbow bend.

If you need to start on your knees please do and build up to a full press up.

3 x sets of of close to your maximum.

Stick to these and I assure you, you’ll be in good shape to tackle 2015.

A very happy Christmas to you!

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