As December 25 approaches, many of us are salivating at the thought of tucking into a delicious Christmas dinner.
From large turkeys to sumptuous stuffing and golden roast potatoes, the special day promises an extensive feast.
And while we look forward to pampering ourselves, we have a small price to pay in our declining fitness.
British athlete and fitness expert Micah Moore at Mirafit has warned that Christmas dinner packs a load of calories that will take a little time in the gym to burn off.
Mika said: “Christmas is just around the corner and it’s an exciting time to gather with loved ones and celebrate with delicious food and drink.
“While it’s clear that calorie intake on Christmas Day is incredibly high, with a total of 3,959, it’s the one day of the year when we can forget about diet and fitness goals.
“However, fitness enthusiasts can be determined to stay in good shape despite high calorie consumption, so these exercise tips can help you stay on track, from upper and lower body workouts to family outings.”
Maybe the realists among us have already listed a new gym routine in our New Year’s resolution, but how long will it take for a holiday dinner and all the trimmings?
An expert has broken down the calorie count of a traditional Christmas dinner to highlight the exercise needed to burn them off, as well as how long it will take.
Here we break down those pesky Christmas dinner calories and the exercise you need to get rid of them, as explained by an expert.
It’s no wonder that a typical Christmas dinner takes a huge amount of effort and time.
To tide you over while you wait, you can treat yourself to some festive snacks like smoked salmon and cheese on crackers.
In total, these bites contain 280 calories. Women need to walk for 58 minutes to burn that off, while men need to walk for 49 minutes.
Mika added: “With your free time over the Christmas break, you can use this low-intensity exercise as a way to socialize by inviting friends or family along for your walk and choosing a scenic route to make the exercise more enjoyable.”
If flying solo is your thing, try going out on your own or avoid the cold weather by using a treadmill at your local gym.
Christmas dinner and all the trimmings
According to Mirafit, a typical Christmas dinner packs a whopping 1,499 calories, including a whole turkey and trimmings like stuffing, roast potatoes and gravy.
That’s why low-intensity walking won’t cut it. Instead you should work up a sweat with a clean run.
“Wait for vigorous exercise to burn that off,” Mika said. “Running burns more calories than any other exercise, so it’s the most practical option.”
Women need to run for 2 hours 1 minute and men around 1 hour 42 minutes to work off the calories from Christmas dinner.
“Running for long periods of time can be impractical, especially if it’s not one of your regular workouts.
“Spread the exercise over several days, or you can even do it over a week. With the latter, you can incorporate other exercises into the same workout, such as strength training.
In the winter, muscles tend to become tighter and more prone to injury as muscles contract to conserve heat, so ensure proper stretching before hitting the road.
Moreover, since daylight hours are getting scarce this season, wear bright colors to stay visible to motorists while running outside.
No Christmas feast is complete without a helping or three of desserts such as Christmas puddings, mince pies and cast logs.
With just one helping out of three, you’re looking at 1,172 calories, which equates to an overwhelming four hours and 22 minutes of weightlifting for men and five hours and 10 minutes for women.
Don’t worry, Mika says the good news is that it doesn’t all have to be done in one day.
He said. “While it is unrealistic to do an exercise of this length in one day, it is certainly possible to spread it over a week.
“Spending just over an hour over four days, or five days for women, will definitely burn off the calories you consumed from Christmas Day desserts.
“Alternate between upper and lower body workouts to make sure you’re targeting all areas while allowing the muscles to recover.”
How to Burn Your Christmas Desserts
Overhead press to target your shoulders and triceps
Stand with your back straight, hold the dumbbells at shoulder height and raise them above your head before bringing them back until your arms are straight.
Bicep curl to target your biceps
Grab the dumbbell with your hand toward the sky, slowly curl up by bending your elbow, then slowly lower the weight back down.
Walk toward your hips and thighs
Use either dumbbells or a barbell and take a few steps forward, bending your leg until your hip is parallel to the floor, remembering to alternate legs for each lunge.
Deadlifts targeting your glutes and hamstrings
With your feet shoulder-width apart, hold dumbbells on either side of your feet, arms straight, and push your hips back as you lower the dumbbells. Slowly raise them as you drive your hips forward and repeat
Information provided by Mirafit
To complement the laughter and joy, a few glasses of mulled wine, eggnog or classic wine will definitely do the trick.
In total, the combination of these drinks equates to 1,008 calories, and to burn that, women should aim for an hour and 24 minutes of cycling, while men should complete an hour and 11 minutes.
Mira said: “Cycling can be a great way for the family to get together over Christmas. If you want to burn off all those calories in one day, choose a route with a stop midway for a drink or a bite to eat.
‘On the other hand, if you prefer not to face the cold, you can use stationary bikes in the gym and spread the training over two or three days.
“You can vary the intensity, resistance and speed with this equipment, and it’s a fantastic option for those with joint pain.”
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