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The Festive season really is the most wonderful time of the year. For children the wonder lies in the mystery of Christmas and the anticipation of what presents they might receive. For many gentlemen the wonder can be found in the glorious food, wines, sherries, ports and other fattening delicacies that grace our groaning dinner tables at this time of year.

Nowadays many ordinary people see weight gain as inevitable consequence of this seasonal gluttony. They have worked hard all year and feel as though they deserve some time to enjoy themselves.  Gentlemen, however, have held a secret for many years which has kept them in shape and ready for the New Year. Have you ever wondered why Boxing Day shoots, hunts or other sporting matches are so popular? The simple truth is that during the holiday period, gentlemen want to move more. They run, they ride, they play football or rugby and they have a great time doing it.

Let’s be fair, the one thing everyone has a lot of during Christmas week is time. So the normal excuse that we give ourselves of being too busy to exercise does not apply. The concept of adding all this spare time together over a week can open up some motivating challenges. If these are realistic and clearly defined they will lead you into 2013 feeling fitter and stronger.

Every person will have a different goal and it’s important that they involve something you enjoy. One example, which a few members of a well-known Gentlemen’s club on Pall Mall use every year, is walking fifty miles between 24th and 31st December. Although this is done cumulatively it is still a fair challenge and requires focus and commitment; they are incentivised because they report back to each other on how they did it. This is not right for everyone and there are countless of activities which could fit this model (200 lengths of the pool, 1000 press ups, and so on).

The key to the gentlemanly approach is not to wait until your New Year’s resolutions. That would be too late. The simple equation is that increased eating should equal increased activity. For most of us there is no point in getting too scientific about it: working out precise calorific intake and matching it with activities of a determined expenditure can be a frustrating exercise and could take the fun out of it!

Over and above any challenge that you may set, the normal gentlemanly behaviour of lending a helping hand should mean that you are not confined to an armchair in a sloth-like state. Any activity is good and it’s worth remembering that even standing up burns more calories than sitting down.

Once you have incorporated these simple steps into your Christmas routine you will wonder why others struggle with the eating and drinking. You will enjoy the festivities and look great!


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