As we rush headlong towards the end of the year, Jean Hailes for Women’s Health offers some timely tips to help us stay healthy, happy and balanced during the festive period.
With 25 tips – one for each day until Christmas – perhaps we should make this into an Advent calendar!
- Pick and choose what social events you go to – you don’t need to catch up with everyone before Christmas.
- For your work social function, bring a plate of something tasty that’s colourful and easy-to-prepare – you may be surprised how many people appreciate your effort.
- Be aware of how much alcohol you are consuming – alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
- Enjoy the warm weather – mix up your physical activities to include swimming in the ocean or outdoor pool, walking the dog or cycling in the evening along a favourite path.
- Eat a nutritious breakfast – you will then be less likely to snack during the day.
- Make some of your socialising “walking” catch-ups – walk along the beach, meet at a park or walk with the family to see the Christmas lights in your neighbourhood.
- Eat a light snack before going out – then you’ll be less tempted to eat too much when you’re out.
- Decide ahead of time how many alcoholic drinks you will have – and stick to it!
- Negotiate when and which side of the family you will have Christmas with in advance – alternate years or have different days to make it fair.
- Buy “active” presents for the young and young at heart – try sports gear, bike equipment, a kite or fancy water bottle.
- Steer clear of sugary drinks – these include beer and cocktails, not just soft drinks.
- If you’re planning to have dinner, avoid nibbles with drinks beforehand – don’t do both as you’ll end up eating way more than usual.
- Stick to your usual eating plan on most days so you don’t over-indulge.
- If you’re hosting Christmas lunch, make it light and salad-based – there’s no need for heavy food in summer.
- Think positively – focus on what’s important to you.
- Eat light – try out a new salad each week.
- Moderation is the key – this way you can have a taste of everything.
- Try to maintain your weight over Christmas – preventing weight gain is far better than putting on weight.
- Don’t feel you need to eat everything on your plate.
- Adapt your fitness routine to suit the season – socialise with a walk along the beach.
- If you are going on holidays, try to stick to your usual diet and exercise regimen.
- Take care of your skin in the sun – apply sunscreen (SPF30+ or more) every two hours.
- Make some time to do what makes you happy.
- Christmas can be a difficult time for many people – be kind to yourself, and to others who have lost a loved one or who are on their own.
- Make it simple and keep it fun – create memories that last.