Fitness Advent Calendar

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Challenge yourself to stay in shape this December

Like any advent calendar, from December 1st right up until Christmas we’ll be revealing a special surprise every day. It won’t be festive-shaped chocolates that you’ll find behind our doors, however. For the next 25 days, discover either a fitness challenge, a wellbeing tip or a delicious winter recipe to help you stay at the top of your fitness game this Christmas.

Be sure to share your favourite challenges, tips and recipes on social media too. ‘Tis the season of giving, after all…

 

17
2
5
20
9
23
16
8
1
15
10
21
4
3
14
18
19
22
12
7
13
6
24
11
25
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Day 17

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Had too many Christmas roasts already? Make this lean and spicy red Thai curry with your turkey this festive season instead. See the recipe here.

This recipe was suggested by Laura from blog Wholeheartedly Healthy.

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Day 2

On an exercise bike, leave one foot off the pedals (resting by the side) and cycle for 30 seconds with the other foot, focusing on the upward part of the stroke. Alternate feet every 30 seconds until you’ve done three rounds with each foot. Increase the time each week to up your pedal power.

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Day 5

Start by doing 20 push-ups today and then increase the amount by a minimum of one every day until Christmas Day. Any style counts! How many will you be doing by Christmas?

This challenge was suggested by blogger Georgina from Fitcetera.

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Day 20

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Amidst all the indulgent eating, stock up on vitamins with this delicious warm roasted parsnip, quinoa, feta and pomegranate salad. Find the full recipe here.

This recipe was suggested by Laura from blog Wholeheartedly Healthy.

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Day 9

To burn off some of those festive calories, tune in to your favourite Christmas song and either sprint on the treadmill, row intensely, or even dance emphatically until it finishes.


This challenge was suggested by Charlie from blog The Runner Beans.

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Day 23

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To improve arm, shoulder and core strength, hold a side plank for at least one minute on each side today.

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Day 16

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Even if you’ve got a Christmas lunch or a dinner out planned, don’t skip your regular meals. This way, you’re less likely to over indulge on snacks, chocolates and puddings.

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Day 8

On a pull up bar, do a hanging hold for as long as possible. Do the same again tomorrow but try and hold it for longer, or really challenge yourself and add in some weights.

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Day 1

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Raise your arms out to your sides at shoulder height and in your hands hold 2kg weights for as long as possible.

To really get into the Christmas spirit however,
swap the weights for Christmas puddings or bottles of wine.

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Day 15

Increase your incline by 1.0 on the treadmill every two minutes for at least 20 minutes. Go on, push yourself – see how high you can go.


This challenge was suggested by Charlie from blog The Runner Beans.

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Day 10

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A bacon sandwich isn’t the only thing that will help your office party hangover. Fresh ginger relieves nausea and helps your stomach digest alcohol, so drink it with hot water if you’re suffering.

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Day 21

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To wind down after a gym session or to relax after a hectic day, hold a shoulder stand for at least two minutes. This relaxes the body and decreases the heart rate. Try this every day for a better night’s sleep.

This challenge was suggested by Christine from blog Yogaberry.

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Day 4

Every time you have a spare few minutes, whether it’s when brushing your teeth or waiting for the kettle to boil, hold a wall squat.

Set your back against the wall, place your feet about two feet in front of you and come down into a seated position with legs at 90 degrees – this will give your quads a good work out. How long can you hold it for?

This challenge was suggested by blogger Georgina from Fitcetera.

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Day 3

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Hold a handstand without the support of a wall for at least three seconds today. If you need help kicking it off, grab a friend to help support you. You can do it!

 

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Day 14

For at least a minute, do a squat facing the wall with your hands placed out against it. Add this to your warm up routine to improve your mobility for a better squat. Feel those quads burn!

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Day 18

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After a few very busy weeks, take the time out to remember what really makes you happy. This evening, write down the three things that you’re most grateful for.

This challenge was suggested by Christine from blog Yogaberry.

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Day 19

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Unable to get to the gym? If you’re staying with friends or family, this 15 minute-long , equipment-free HIIT routine can be done in the spare room:

* Shuttle runs for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds
* Burpees for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds
* Mountain climbers for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds
* Repeat the above another four times

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Day 22

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On an exercise bike, see how quickly you can complete a 3k sprint. Be sure to write down your time and then beat it at your next gym visit.

This challenge was suggested by Charlie from blog The Runner Beans.

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Day 12

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Tired from a busy weekend? Refuel with this delicious smoothie. In a blender mix one pear (core removed), one banana, 230ml of unsweetened almond milk, one tsp. of almond butter and ½ tsp. of chia seeds. For a festive touch, add ½ tsp. of cinnamon as well.

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Day 7

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Place a plyo box six inches in front of you and, in a squat position, jump on to the box using your entire body, including your arms. Step down, reset yourself and then repeat.

Start with 20 jumps and then see how many more you can do next time…

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Day 13

Do a tuck hollow hold for at least a minute today. If that’s too easy then try the hollow body hold (where your body is shaped like a dish) instead.


This challenge was suggested by blogger Georgina from Fitcetera.

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Day 6

Run at full speed for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of recovery either walking or jogging, repeating this cycle 6 to 8 times to improve your stamina.

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Day 24

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Instead of buying boxes of chocolates and processed sweets, make your own organic peppermint creams. Great homemade gifts for family or friends, see the recipe here.

This recipe was suggested by Laura from blog Wholeheartedly Healthy.

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Day 11

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Take some time out each day to stay relaxed over this busy period. In a quiet place, breathe in for five seconds and then out for ten. Do this for at least five minutes and feel the tension float away.

This challenge was suggested by Christine from blog Yogaberry.

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Day 25

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