The festive period brings a lot of fun – the perfect time of year to spend time with friends and family. But you won’t be alone in making it to 1 January feeling as though you’ve over-indulged and aren’t as well-rested as you’d like to be.
While the Christmas period is one to enjoy yourself, it’s important that you take care of yourself too. Take a look at the following advice for staying healthy over the festive period.
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Do something active every day
It’s tempting to spend the entire festive period watching Christmas films on the sofa, but it’s important to do something active every day. Going for a walk, doing some exercise and even just enjoying a change of scenery will help break up the day to help you maintain some kind of routine.
Some moderate activity will help you stay fit and focused, and it can be a good way to counteract the extra calories you may eat over the break.
Take vitamins to boost your immunity
Christmas is a time for celebration, but as it falls in winter, it’s also a time when viruses are at their most prevalent. Taking steps to boost your immune system is important this time of year, and you can start by making sure you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables to give your body essential vitamins.
Taking supplements can also be a good way of giving your immune system a boost.
“Vitamin supplements can give your immunity a vital pick-me-up during the winter months,” Stuart Gale from Oxford Online Pharmacy tells health online.
Keeping a supply of supplements to hand can help your vitamin intake, providing a little lift during these difficult months.
Start the day with a healthy breakfast
While your days may be packed with parties and social events, you can still get your day off to a healthy start. A healthy, balanced breakfast can set you up for the day, as well as help ease some of the symptoms of a hangover.
A filling breakfast like porridge topped with fruit can help you stay fuller for longer, reducing the temptation to snack on Christmas chocolate by mid-morning.
Water is essential for your body to carry out its regular functions, and not getting enough can leave you feeling dehydrated. Alcohol can also cause dehydration, which is why it’s important to drink plenty of water.
Drink water throughout the day to help you stay hydrated, especially if you know you’re going to be drinking alcohol. Keeping a bottle to hand can help you meet your daily recommended intake of 2 litres.
If you are drinking alcohol, try to alternate each drink with a glass of water, this will help you stay hydrated, and could help prevent a hangover the following morning.
Enjoy the festive food, but be mindful with your eating
With all of the festive treats around, it’s easy to overindulge. Being more mindful with your eating can help you make some sensible decisions, and still enjoy all of your favourites.
Give yourself some time to enjoy the food you’re eating, and take some time between sittings. You’ll likely find that if you let your food settle, you’re not as hungry as you think you are.
Try to eat some balanced, nutritious meals between gatherings and eating leftovers. This will help you avoid the dreaded December weight gain, and it will give you some essential nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy during the winter months.
Remember that one day of letting loose doesn’t have to completely derail your goals. Tomorrow is a new day, and you can resume balanced eating to help you keep your health on track.
Limit your drinking
It’s easier to drink more than you realise over the festive period. Drinking too much alcohol not only adds to your calorie intake, but can also impact your health. Not only that, but the effects of a hangover can lead you to make poor health choices the following day.
Health guidance states you should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week, but do you know what an alcohol unit is? Understanding how much you’re drinking, and being mindful of your units, can stop you from drinking too much this Christmas.
Avoid some of the stress that comes with the festive period
It’s not just your physical health that needs taking care of over the festive period, it’s your mental health too. Christmas bring a lot of expectation, family tension, financial concerns and more, causing all kinds of stress and anxiety. It’s important that you know that it’s ok not to feel full of the festive cheer, but there are things you can do to look after your mental health this Christmas. Some ideas include:
- Get outside, even if it’s just for a short time. The vitamin D boost can help.
- Take time to yourself, even if it’s just to have a bath or do something by yourself for a bit.
- Maintain a routine as much as possible, sticking to the same bed and wake time if you can.
- Do things that make you happy, make Christmas your own.
- Open up to someone about how you’re feeling, you’ll feel relieved to share your concerns with someone you trust.
Make sure you relax
The Christmas holidays can be a very busy time. There’s a lot going on and it can be very stressful at times. But it’s also a time to relax and take some time off. After a tough year, you should try to recharge and practice self-care. Make time for the things you wouldn’t normally do, ready to start the new year afresh.
There’s a lot of fun to be had over Christmas, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your health. Take steps to stay healthy over the festive period so that you can enjoy a happy Christmas.