Mix fitness with fun this holiday season

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As we approach the festive period, parties ramp up, alcohol consumption increases and the abundance of food is a massive temptation. You’ve worked hard throughout the winter months and you would like to maintain or improve your fitness over the summer.

Am I right? Try these tips to enjoy socialsing this summer and be active at the same time.

If a barbecue with friends is planned, offer to bring a cricket set or some sports gear to play with in the backyard or at the beach. This way, everyone has a chance to have a run around and expend some energy while spending time with friends and catching up over food.

Recruit a few friends who like to hike and plan an overnight walk during the New Year break. We are spoilt for choice in NZ with some of the world’s best walks right on our doorstep. Don’t miss out on enjoying the walk because your fitness is lacking or your pack is too heavy – make sure you are prepared.

Daylight saving is my favourite time of year. Longer days and lighter evenings mean you have extra hours to do fun things with your friends and family. If you enjoy the outdoors, plan a few post-work activities such as a power walk with friends, frisbee in the park with the kids, or a trek through your favourite beauty spot (have you conquered the Hakarimata Summit Track or seen Wairere Falls yet?)

Join a summer boot camp. Boot camps are fun, social and usually take place at times which suit your work day. Plus, you have the added benefit of a personal trainer who will keep your motivation levels high. *

Summer social sport is on the rise and everyone seems to want to get involved. If you aren’t involved then get in touch with your local sporting group (choose a sport that interests you) to find out what they can offer over the summer months. **

Summer usually means that it’s warm enough to swim. Head to your local beach and take a dip with your friends. We have some of the most pristine and unpopulated beaches in the world right in our back yard – make the most of them in the warmer months. There are plenty of ways to be active at the beach – snorkeling, surfing, paddle boarding, beach volleyball… the options are endless. Exercising on the sand and in the water will definitely help keep you fit over summer.

*  For information about personal training in Hamilton, check out Get It Fitness™ based at UniRec. Find out more at www.getitfitness.squarespace.com/ or by contacting Vonita White at gettrained@getitfitness.co.nz.

**  If you’re based in Hamilton, U Leisure’s Social Sport series offers social touch, soccer and netball leagues. Visit www.socialsport.co.nz/ for more information.

Kristina Jessup
A specialist in exercise rehabilitation and chronic disease management, Kristina Jessup is a sport and rehab consultant at UniRec and uses “exercise as medicine”.
Trained to provide carefully tailored exercise programmes for people from all walks of life and particularly those who may have struggled with exercise in the past; have particular limitations which prevent them from exercising, or those who simply don’t know where to start, Kristina has a wealth of experience spanning eight years and provides expert advice in chronic disease management and musculoskeletal rehabilitation.

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