How To Get Your Kids Off The XBox This Christmas

Lets face it we normally come through the festive period with our blood pressure up, half a stone heavier and wishing for the start of the school term.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are her 10 top tips for a healthier and happier family Christmas:

1 Make activity part of the festive period – cycle rides to the local shops for last minute stocking fillers, a game of Twister, plenty of family walks or sign up for a Christmas 5km to do together.

2 Have a family reward activity chart, giving a sticker for every day a family member accumulates 30 minutes of exercise – the first one to get 7 stickers gets to choose the film on movie night!

3 Treat the family to some fun active outings – ice skating, a walking tour of Christmas lights in the neighbourhood, swimming or indoor rock climbing..

4 When Christmas shopping: use the stairs instead of the escalator, park in the farthest corner of the car park at the superstore, use manual doors instead of automated ones – these small changes can make all the difference.

5 Christmas Day can get stressful, so take 5 minutes to find some space (lock yourself in the bathroom if you have to!) and do some breathing exercises, gentle stretches or meditation.

6 Switch off the TV and have a family dance off in the living room to your Christmas CD!

7 Most of us like a tipple at Christmas, but aim to alternate an alcoholic drink with a soft drink or water and stick within safe limits, (max of 3-4 units a day for men and 2 to 3 units for women).

8 Ditch the crisps and replace with bowls of fruit, olives, dried apricots, figs etc.

9 Make Christmas dinner a healthier choice: use a metal rack to cook your turkey so the fat drains away. Trim the skin off the turkey. Steam your veggies instead of roasting them in oil, keeping the immune boosting vitamins in and the calories out.

10 Weather awful? No problem, bang in a fitness DVD and have a laugh joining in together! The kids will love it!