Yes, believe it or not, there is only six weeks to go until Christmas and many of us will be looking forward to some fabulous parties or the chance to spend some quality time with our families and loved ones.

So, in the next month and a half what can you do while you’re counting down to the big day? Well, the run up to Christmas is a perfect time to up the fitness levels and if exercise hasn’t been high up on your priorities, now is a great time to start. Why?

Not only does it ensure you’ll feel more confident of looking at your best when you squeeze into that amazing work Christmas party outfit, but, if putting your feet up and enjoying a naughty treat or two over the festive period sounds right up your alley, then this is a more guilt free way to do it. In addition, as the weather gets colder and more gloomy, exercise is the perfect chance to boost your mood and have you feeling more full of energy.

And that’s not all. More exercise means you’ll also stand to ward off those nasty winter cold and flu bugs which seem to love making you feel so rubbish around this time of year, by giving a healthy boost to your immune system.

How much exercise should you do per week?

The World Health Organization (WHO) says adults aged 18 to 64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week. And over the winter months, despite the desire for the warmth of a duvet day, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t continue from October onwards.

The latest Health Survey for England, for 2016, showed 66% of men aged 19 and over are meeting the guidelines above – this has been unchanged since 2012 – but there’s still a third of men that could do better to improve their health and overall wellbeing. For women, the figure was 58% – up from 56% in 2012.

Enjoy exercise the right way

As time moves on, people seem to be becoming far more aware of the benefits of exercise and discovering new and exciting ways to enjoy it and have some fun.

So, if you’re up for the challenge of getting fit for the festive season, here are a few get fit quick ways to do it:

Exercise effectively – do exercises which work several parts of the body at the same time. This extra stress on the body will get you fitter faster. A perfect example is a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout which incorporates squats, lunges, planks, push ups and burpees, combined with cardiovascular exercise, such as running on the spot, high knees and butt kicks.

Take your exercise outdoors. There’s few things more invigorating than an outdoors swim or run on a colder day. When running or swimming, again practise interval training, interspersing your workout between high and moderate levels of intensity. This is the most effective way to burn fat and get you fitter quicker.

Eat healthily – this is the perfect aide to help you get the most out of your exercise. Ensure you include good amounts of food in your diet which contain high levels of vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy carbs that your body needs to help it function at its best.

Ensure you enjoy what you do – this is by far the best way to get you fitter for longer and get the most out of your exercise – as there’s more chance that if you’re enjoying your workouts you’ll do them more often and for longer.