Wellbeing & Motivation > The Benefits of Taking a Workout Break at Christmas

The Benefits of Taking a Workout Break at Christmas

24th Dec 19

Christmas time fast approaches, and there are a few things that spring to mind… family, friends, festivities and, best of all, food. Christmas is an indulgent time of year, and one thing that often falls on the back burner is fitness and working out. Exercise is a lifelong health habit, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a break every now and again, especially at a time when our lives are busy with other activities.

We’re going to take a look at the fitness/life balance, the importance of rest, and why it’s important to chill out and enjoy a Christmas break. Keep reading to find out more!

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Fitness/Life Balance

group of people in santa hats having christmas food

Have you ever considered your fitness/life balance? Most of us know about the work/life balance, and the same applies to exercise and our health. Working out regularly offers a wealth of benefits, but it’s important to manage the amount of exercise you do so you don’t suffer the consequences of overtraining.

Exercise is a lifelong habit, but your fitness regime and diet may get in the way of other equally important parts of life: things like spending time with family and friends, attending fun events, enjoying delicious food, and taking time to chill and relax. These other aspects of life should not come with any guilt attached – e.g., “I had to skip a workout to come out today” or “There are so many calories in this meal, I better not eat it all.” A healthy and balanced mindset is what we aim for; we need to appreciate that a good diet and regular exercise are great for our physical and mental health, but also understand that taking a break and indulging has its own benefits, too.

Your fitness/life balance is very important, especially at Christmas time.

The Importance of Rest

Family of socked feet in front of the fire

Taking a break from exercise and having rest days is key to progressing, achieving goals and preventing injury.

Rest days are when your body has time to relax and recover from the stress that exercising places on it. In terms of mental benefits, a break from exercise around Christmas can be an excellent decision for your well-being and overall state of mind. This gives you time to enjoy yourself and make the most of the break without worrying about when and how you’ll next workout. You don’t have to go cold turkey, of course. You could switch up a heavy gym session for some light stretching or yoga. Or you could swap your regular 10k run for a light jog with a friend. Another great way to move during Christmas is to go on long walks with the family. Dancing counts, too!

Christmas is Inherently Stressful

woman stressed over christmas presents

You might find the Christmas period extremely stressful, either due to the cost, the full calendar, or difficult family situations. Some people aren’t huge fans of Christmas, either, which can add another layer of stress to a rather over-the-top season. By pushing ourselves to exercise when we’re already feeling frazzled, we’re more likely to end up burnt out and disengaged. Exercise is something that should always enhance your life, not take away from it, so giving yourself a much-needed break may be super helpful in lowering stress levels.

At the same time, if you know that exercise is one of the best tools for managing stress, try to find something that fits into your jam-packed calendar. As our ambassador, Roger Black, explains: “For those with busy schedules, a new piece of home fitness equipment is a worthwhile investment… No matter what time you get in from work or whatever time the kids go to bed, you can hop on the cross trainer or treadmill and complete your workout from the warmth and comfort of your own home. It’s also worth finding some online classes that you’ll enjoy and saving the workouts for when it’s convenient for you. Yoga, Pilates, bodyweight HITT… whatever works for you.”

Relax and Enjoy

Feet of unrecognizable woman in socks by the Christmas fireplace

If there’s one thing that you need to take away from all of this, make sure that it’s this: there’s more to life than exercise. Exercise is one of the best things anyone can ever do for their body and mind, but it’s not always practical, and it’s not the be-all and end-all. If you feel like you need a break this Christmas, take it. Or if you feel like toning things down a little will work better for you, then go for it. The most important thing is that you find a balance that works for you and allows you to enjoy the Christmas break.


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.