Stay trim before Christmas indulgence
If you're someone who has to keep an eye on their weight (which, to be truthful, is most of us), then the prospect of Christmas with its inevitable over indulgence may be daunting.
You'll already know that staying trim depends on what you eat and how much you exercise.
Take in more calories than you use up and you'll put weight on. Use up more calories than you take in and you'll lose weight.
So in readiness for the annual festive blow out, why not try to avoid blowing up by limiting your intake of calories and increasing your exercise?
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There are diets galore, calorie count recipes by the book full and chill cabinets brimming with ready-made meals for slimmers in every supermarket.
So cutting the calories is well within the reach of most of us.
However, increasing the amount of exercise we take can't be bought off the shelf.
Most of us lead lives that are largely sedentary, so what we need to do is incorporate more physical activity into our day.
This calls for a shift in lifestyle, but every little bit of extra exercise helps so start in a small way by doing no more than five to 15 minutes' brisk walking, or other simple activity each day to begin with.
It doesn't matter when you take your walk, just be flexible and fit it in at a time that's convenient.
The real trick is to find a form of exercise that you enjoy – walking, swimming, whatever it may be – then you'll soon discover you don't need any other motivation to keep it up.
Then when you've gradually eased your way into a more active routine, increase the exercise by degrees.
Once you are regularly achieving 10 minutes' activity a day, aim to do 20, stick with that for a few weeks, then build again.
Your overall goal should be to reach 30 minutes of moderate activity, five days a week.