Christmas is notoriously a time to celebrate but don’t let this be the green light to go overboard! You can still enjoy all the festivities of the season and get through the Christmas period without too much impact on your waistline and your health. Here are 5 tips for a healthier Christmas…
‘Tis the season to be jolly’ but jolly is the last thing plenty of us feel with ‘to do’ lists, present buying, cooking, cleaning and visitors we could do without. Try to keep a sense of humour and proportion. Is it really the end of the world if the potatoes are overcooked or if the dresser is a bit dusty? Remember, Christmas is just one day out of 365 and it isn’t worth stressing over.
Keep colds at bay
Colds are common at Christmas, partly because a lot of us travel around the country, exposing ourselves to different cold viruses. Reduce your risk by keeping a healthy immune system (getting sufficient sleep, not smoking, and eating healthily) so you are more able to fight off any colds. Higher consumption of alcohol over Christmas time can also mean that our levels of B vitamins are low, we can feel tired and sluggish. Brown rice, leafy green vegetables and oats are great sources of vitamin B, so make sure you’re getting ample in your diet. To make sure your levels are topped up, you can invest in a B complex supplement, a good quality multivitamin that also includes vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc can be helpful too, especially for women.
Even though we are all super busy in December, make it a priority to keep up your usual exercise routine. Keep exercising three times a week, this gives a realistic goal to aim for and allows you to keep your fitness levels up so it’s not a massive effort getting back into fitness after the holidays. This also helps your health stay on track as regular exercise reduces your appetite for sugary foods.
Set fitness goals with friends
If your motivation to stay fit is flagging, set yourself some goals i.e. book a 10k run in January, a fun run you can do with friends and family, or a free class at a local gym, or sign up to a health/sports club. Working out with other people can also keep up your energy and momentum. During the dark winter evenings, find a friend who loves to run or join a running club. Not only will this keep you accountable and ensure you show up, but it’s safer to run in pairs. Make those weekend runs fun and sociable too by meeting a friend and making your end point a coffee shop so you can reward yourself with a warming hot chocolate.
Put together a playlist
If you really can’t face the cold outside, put together a pumping playlist to help you get in the zone and hit the treadmill in the gym. And if you’re feeling the effects of stress or fatigue over the holidays, why not give yoga, pilates, tai chi, qigong, or meditation classes a go?
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!