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The festive season is a time to get together with family and friends. The drinks flow and grandma's cakes are impossible to resist. The same goes for those big meals your auntie always serves up. 

It can be tough for the body to keep up with it all, though. Eating to excess can cause indigestion. Feeling queasy? Face a bit pale? Can't shake off that tiredness? They're all tell-tale signs that you've taken on too many calories. Don't panic, though. We're going to tell you how to burn them off and get fit again.

burn calories

BURN OFF CALORIES THE CARDIO WAY

You have to move if you want to burn calories. 

Cardio training is a great way of making that happen. It burns calories as you work out. 

When you do a cardio exercise with a moderate intensity and for long enough (more than 40 minutes), you start to draw on your reserves of fat. And that's exactly what we need when we've been feasting on grandma's cakes over the holiday season.

On top of that, cardiovascular activity also makes your heart healthier, improves blood circulation and helps eliminate the toxins produced by the body as a result of overeating, thanks to deeper breathing.  

And do you know what the really great thing is? You'll feel a whole lot calmer after your workout thanks to the release of endorphins, the so-called "happiness hormones" that help combat stress.

WHICH CARDIO ACTIVITIES ARE GOOD FOR BURNING CALORIES?

There are lots of different ways to have a cardio workout. To help you on your way, here are seven cardio activities that will help you burn the calories right off.

● Cross trainer

● Jogging (on a treadmill or outdoors) 

● Skipping

● Rowing

● Cycling

● Walking (on a treadmill or outdoors and on an incline if possible)

● Circuit training

 

Remember that the more moderate and prolonged your cardio workouts, the more you will burn off your reserves of fat. To achieve visible results, the key is to stick at it. We recommend you work out at least twice a week, for between 45 minutes and an hour.

circuit training
burn calories

THE VIRTUES OF LIVING A HEALTHY LIFE

Doing sports is great but it's not enough in itself for you to lose weight and be healthy. 

Remember the mathematical equation we gave you at the start.

We've seen how to burn calories effectively but there's also your calorie intake to consider.And only a healthy, balanced diet can have a positive impact on this part of the equation. 

When you're looking to lose weight and get healthy, which is often the case after letting yourself go over the festive season, there's nothing better than getting back into good eating habits.

It's not that difficult either. With a few changes here and there you'll improve your digestion, protect your liver and set yourself up to start the year on the front foot.

Some simple tips to bear in mind:

Keep refined and processed foods (sandwich bread, cakes and biscuits, ready meals, salt, white sugar, etc) to a minimum.

Try to eat more in the way of unprocessed foods rich in vitamins and minerals and ideally organic (fruit, vegetables, seeds, oilseeds, eggs, pulses).

Cut down on red meat and eat more white meat, fish, eggs and pulses.

Add spices to your dishes to aid digestion, such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, fennel, thyme, clove.

Drink, drink and drink some more: a minimum of 1.5 litres of water (or more if you're doing sport) at room temperature or lukewarm.

You're now ready to take back control of your body and get rid of all those unwanted kilos you picked up during the festive season.