The Christmas period can play havoc with your diet and exercise routines. With busy schedules, decadent meals and boozy nights out to contend with, it’s no wonder that many of us feel out of shape and sorts come January. Fear not though, there really is no need to let your fitness regime fall quiet and your belt strap slacken this festive season.

With a little planning and correspondent discipline, you can find the time amongst the present panic buying and festive pints to stay in control of your fitness throughout December. These fast, simple workout ideas can be easily incorporated into your festive schedule, creating a chance to indulge this Christmas without the usual guilt . So, here are 5 IDEAL quick ways to fit in a workout during the festive season.

DEPLOY FESTIVE ACTIVITY HACKS THAT BURN CALORIES

If you’re too busy socialising, celebrating and shopping to find the time to exercise, then kill two birds with one stone by turning your festive activities into calorie-burning workouts. Simple updates to your routine, like getting off the bus a stop early and walking the rest of the way, are an easy way to incorporate exercise into your daily schedule. When Christmas shopping, avoid the lifts and escalators and take the stairs instead, and be sure to quicken your pace when walking.

You can even turn festive social activities into exercise, too. In fact, according to My Calories Burned, an hour of moderately fast ice skating could burn as much as 651 calories, making it a great workout as well as a festive family outing. Likewise, dancing on your Christmas night out could burn over 500 calories an hour, so don’t hold back on the dance floor at the office party.

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REPLACE LONGER SESSIONS WITH HIIT

Don’t think you’ve got time for a full workout? Think again. If you need to get your exercise fix in a hurry, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) will help you burn calories, work your muscles and get your heartrate up in a flash. In fact, HIIT may even be more effective at burning fat than longer periods of moderate intensity exercise, according to a study published on the National Centre for Biotechnology Information.

So, if you’re pressed for time this December, swap long sessions in the gym for HIIT. These beginner-friendly HIIT routines from The Daily Burn are a great place to get started, and can even be done at home – double win.

GET OUT AND ABOUT ON CHRISTMAS DAY

If your usual Christmas Day routine involves falling into a food coma in front of the TV, consider switching things up with some outdoor activity. A long walk will help you burn off your festive dinner, and will help you to avoid the energy slump that often follows a massive meal. So this year, get up off the sofa, wrap up warm, and take a long walk with the family. If you need some help finding the ideal route for a winter walk, The Ramblers have a handy search tool to help you find walks in your area.

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TRY FAST CLASSES AT THE GYM

Many major gym chains like Virgin Active now offer fifteen-minute targeted classes, so you can work up a sweat even when you’re pressed for time. This way, you should have time to fit in a workout on even the busiest of days this December. If you’re otherwise engaged during the evening, consider trying out a fast class during your lunch hour. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, as they say.

BRING THE GYM HOME

Getting to the gym can be a major drain on time, especially when it feels like you’ve got a million things on your plate. Here’s the thing though; you don’t need a full range of gym equipment to get a good workout. If you invest in just a few staple pieces of kit, you can get a high-intensity workout without leaving the house.

Not sure where to start? A kettlebell is a versatile piece of equipment that can be used for multiple workout routines that target different areas of the body. This collection of kettlebells from Powerhouse Fitness offers models in a selection of sizes and weights, suitable for strengths and fitness levels. Or try this full-body workout from Self, which takes just twenty minutes — perfect if you’re in a rush.

The Christmas season doesn’t have to mean the end of your fitness routine. With these time-saving tips, and a little self-discipline, you can ring in the New Year feeling happier and healthier than ever.

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