And while the holidays are a super fun time, they do also mean a few unhealthy habits become the norm – and it can make it hard to get back on track with your health after the season is over.
After all, eating a lot of extra food, and sitting around inside, is part of the Christmas experience! But it’s not a good habit to carry into the new year.
So, if you’re looking for ways to enjoy your Christmas without sacrificing your health, here are a few key tips we can offer you:
1. Choose healthier snacks 🍿
Health may not be the top priority on Christmas, with so many sweet and richly flavoured treats around 🍫! But it can be really helpful to avoid starting the Xmas snacks weeks before the big day. Also, get healthy snacks around the house instead if you can – like fruit and veg 🍓. Mulled wine doesn’t count!
2. Start the day with a decent breakfast 🍳
Opening the day with a good breakfast helps to ensure you start the day in a positive, nutritious way. It can help even out the balance of all the heavy Christmas meals and sweet treats that come with the territory – and keep you feeling full until the key meal, instead of turning to sweet snacks.
3. Take regular walks and make an effort to move around! 🏃♂️
It might be the time of Christmas specials and movies 🎬, but don’t get too stuck in front of the TV all day! Take breaks and try playing games instead. Remember that you need to get up off the couch to avoid stiffness. It’s especially good to take a walk after dinner to help with your digestion 🚶♀️. Consider gifts that might encourage positive activity – like bikes, scooters, footballs 🏈, or other old-fashioned games that get you up and moving with the family.
4. Keep your brain engaged
Beyond getting up and moving, it’s a good idea to keep your brain moving too – here’s where good old-fashioned family games can really come into their own! Try Trivial Pursuit or Charades, Carcassonne or even jigsaw puzzles 🧩. It gets the family together, encourages more dynamic activity and engages the brain in a better way than fancy video games or TV.
5. Manage your portion size 🥗
Overeating is a Christmas theme, but it can be really helpful to your health if you stop and reconsider your portion size 🍛! A little mindfulness goes a long way towards keeping you on track. Pay attention to your body and listen to the messages it is giving you – whether you’re feeling bloated, heavy or lethargic, it’s a sign! 🤢
Take a break from eating and pay attention to the portions you’re serving. Try to make it a 20-minute break if you can to see if you’re actually still hungry or not, before going for another helping.
6. Remember to drink plenty of water 💦
Water can be easy to forget between alcoholic drinks 🍷, but hydration is really important. Alcohol units really add up too, and between the mulled wine, the Bucks Fizz, wine with dinner, Baileys or brandy afterwards….the list can get really long! Keep an eye on what you’re drinking and make sure you don’t let yourself get too dehydrated. Ideally, you should have six to eight glasses of water each day, though this can also include herbal teas or diluted juice if you want something tastier.
7. Do some stretching each and every day 🙆♀️
Stretching can be a good way to get a little movement and keep the body from getting stiff – and it’s quick and easy to fit into a busy day of activity! Try an upward dog where you lie on your stomach and push only your upper body up off the floor – it stretches the spine and makes for a very satisfying way to start the day!
8. Take a moment to decompress and be in the moment 🧘♀️
Christmas can be stressful with all the spending, cooking, cleaning, and everything else that comes with it. So, try to take a moment where you can to reflect, enjoy the moment, and de-stress 🧘♂️. After all, stress is no good for your health.
Don’t just turn to alcohol to do the job! Instead, give yourself a break and try to stop and enjoy and celebrate this warm family time. Take a minute to pay attention to your five senses if you’re finding your brain buzzing in a thousand directions – pay attention to what you are seeing 👀, tasting 😛, smelling 👃, feeling 🤚 and hearing 👂. Appreciate the moment you’re in.
Keep the nerves in check by letting things go if they don’t all go to plan – if something isn’t quite perfect, it isn’t such a big deal! Enjoy your time with your loved ones and make positive memories 💓.
We hope that with these tips, you can have a fun – but also a healthy Christmas season 🎄. Take care of yourself and your health, so that you can have a strong start to 2021 and get your year going on the right foot.