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Updated: Feb 14

Fitness in Xmas is always SO MUCH FUN I call it FITMAS TIME! I get to enjoy my running more which I so love. I am an OUTDOOR Training lover and mixed in with home workouts I have found my bliss!

It wasn't always this way, but have now found what works for me at this phase in my life - ESPECIALLY throughout the festive period to keep me ticking through!

Running hasn’t always been one of my fitness loves. But it has been one of the things I have kept up mostly, especially when I needed to adapt. Always a dancer and the performance arts as my true passion (I find It hard not to get carried away at times!) BUT always had too much energy! So even as a dancer which is already a demanding art, I needed to add some more spice! Team sports hit the right spot, and mixed with dance were my passions growing up! In fact, there's more to that in my interview with Romina MN (Hearts of Gibraltar) I was also an amateur singer and sang in various shows and even the Miss Gibraltar pageant which one day I will share more on that with you and how it was one of my biggest learning curves! But back to FITMAS and how I spend my time in the pre-Xmas mode and holidays amidst all the parties/drinks/overindulgence and shopping! We all overindulge and love a more sedentary lifestyle – and it is there for the taking! We do work hard most of the year and so NUMBER 1 RULE is to take advantage of the slower pace. However, it is also a VERY EXCITING TIME if you love training! No need to switch EVERYTHING off. I've been doing it for a few years and working really well especially for MINDSET going into the new year!

TOP TIPS on Fitmas Xmas: Personal Hacks + TIPS:

1. Get yourself signed up for a race/event. It doesn’t have to be something BIG. Perhaps even get an accountability partner or friend and promise that you’ll both go for a walk/run at least twice a week or get together and do a home workout. 2. Have you got the proper kit? ASK SANTA! This is great motivation and the novelty plays a huge part in getting you started. SO ask Santa for a smartwatch/trainers/running gear or an arm strap to hold your phone. Air pods can be expensive but they are a HUGE investment 3. Use some recording app even if on phone to count your steps. I personally use STRAVA as I like the information and love to also be part of a community. In fact, I even opened up my own Strava Cardio Club! join me and my fitness team and go recording your weekly stats! If you find walking / running MEGA BORING listen to a podcast. For me personally, I mostly enjoy my running but there are days where I truly struggle and the first 15mins before the endorphins kick in can be very tough, so on those days I tune into a motivational podcast whilst I run. 4. If it's raining - I love it, even more, there are fewer people and cars around and I simply feel I’m “dancing in the rain” haha! Oh and I don’t take AirPods or mobile so no one can reach me….its bliss! 5. If I can’t literally leave the house. Times run out. No child care. Then I grab a quick TABATA or AMRAP (as many reps as possible) and do my cardio fix in just 20 mins as I find it hard to train at home. But I always feel amazing after it. I even have a running workout with stretches have you checked Studio Online? it has more than 500 workouts! 6. When everything else fails, HYDRATE! Yes, exactly that, I am no superhuman and also overeat, overdrink so what I do is, for every glass of wine I drink a glass of water. 7. Intermittent fasting. YOU KNOW you’ll overeat throughout this time of the year so why not try intermittent fasting? It will ensure the extra calories don’t take you over too much. I have a video on Intermittent Dos and Don’ts to see if it's right for you all inside my health hub Becoming a member this time of year is brilliant because you get all the workouts, healthy Xmas recipes and mindset talks PLUS get to jump into my January STRONG START Plan kicking you off for an amazing year ahead. Stretches and Flexibility for Runners: If I don’t stretch well I always get my IT Band and Hip Flexors clogged up and then impede my training which I so love. SO I regularly make sure of the following: a. Stretch your lower back. If you have a lordotic spine like me (excessive lower curvature of the spine) then you’ll need lots of cat stretches, knee to chest and periformis stretching!

I have a few videos that I recorded in my health hub membership specific for running and walking. They are literally 5-10 minutes videos and can be implemented quickly before or after your workout. More details b. Stretch your major muscles in your legs, quads/hams/calves c. Try to get a deep tissue massage once a month if you are serious about running. Your IT Band (a long strap-like banded tendon on the outside of the leg get clogged really easily) d. Warm-Up and Cooldown (I’m not very good at this as I’m always rushing but its important). Pre + Post Fuel I personally always try to run in the morning so I mostly do faster cardio. But if you’re running later on in the day something like a handful of oats with berries and almond milk or a banana could really help you in your performance. Or at least help you enjoy the run a little more! Post – Protein ALWAYS Protein! I personally have a shake or a couple of boiled eggs. I know everyone uses different methods and strategies but these are what I personally do and use and if I can help anyone out there to improve their running or at least get you started then I am a happy Road Runner lol!

ABOVE ALL Self Care! The holiday season is great for so many reasons, but it’s also super hard for many people. It’s okay not to love this time of year, so don’t be hard on yourself if the holidays don’t fill you with the Christmas spirit. Some people love this time of year but still get overwhelmed, and that’s okay, too! The point is to allow yourself to feel how you feel and to implement some self-care so those feelings are easier to manage. My BIGGEST gift for you? Is to keep moving forward, create momentum, BE in the moment but also eyes ahead. Because if there's ANYTHING I’ve learnt in the last decade is that getting STUCK is one of the worst feelings in the world ;) x Let's keep moving together Are you in my next challenge? Happy Holidays and Laugh Lots! Hugs Natalie xxx

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