Enjoy all the festivities of the season and get through the Christmas period without too much impact on your health.
Top 10 tips for a healthier Christmas.
- Don’t sit down all day. Encourage the whole family to get out for a walk at some point – ideally, after dinner to aid digestion. The more activity, the better, so take along any new outdoor gifts, like bikes, scooters, footballs or Frisbees, or play old-fashioned games.
- Don’t give yourself a Christmas stuffing. This huge feast not only contributes to weight gain but also to indigestion and heartburn – not to mention lethargy for the rest of the day, reducing the chances of you burning much of it off. Instead of gorging yourself on Christmas dinner, eat a normal-sized meal and then take a 20-minute break to see if you are still hungry (it takes this long for the brain to register that the stomach is full). The chances are, you’ll realise you’ve had enough.
- Keep colds at bay. Maintaining a healthy immune system (eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and not smoking will help), so you are more able to fight off any viruses. Check out my latest article on how to boost your immune system against colds and flu.
- Don’t stress yourself out. ‘Tis the season to be jolly’ but jolly is the last thing many of us feel with overspending, cooking, cleaning, endless ‘to do’ lists and visitors we could do without. Try to keep a sense of humor and proportion.
- Eat fruit. Let’s be honest, most of us get through the entire Christmas period eating no more fruit than the satsuma in the Christmas stocking. It just doesn’t really feature on the Christmas menu. But at this time of late nights, overindulging and partying, it’s more important than ever to get your vitamins and minerals, to help you stay in good health. Ensure that your Christmas shopping list enables you to fill up the fruit bowl and get your recommended daily portions of fruit and veg.
- Sleep like it’s your job. Getting at least 7 hours per night of sleep is the single most impactful action you can take to improve your immunity, energy level, mood, and overall health. (Not to mention that it’s totally free!) The more sleep before midnight you get, the better the quality, and the more positive the health outcomes. A few things you can do to improve sleep are cutting out the caffeine; turning off all electrical devices and screens 1 hour before sleep time; and doing a writing exercise 30 minutes before bedtime where you simply write down everything that’s on your mind. Try it!If you haven’t been sleeping enough or have a couple of nights of insomnia or staying out late, you can add in daily meditation sessions, which will also boost your immune system and increase antibodies.
- Stay hydrated. Stay On the day of a big night out, and the day after, make a conscious effort to drink 6-8 glasses of water, or plenty of herbal teas or diluted juice. Even mild dehydration can lead to a headache and combined with the diuretic effects of alcohol makes maintaining your fluid intake so important. Regular teas and coffee count towards your fluid intake, but caffeinated versions shouldn’t make up your full quota.
- Treat yourself with acupuncture and physiotherapy treatment. I can’t stress enough the amazing benefits of this natural modality to maintain your health and wellnes. Not to mention this natural treatment has the ability to untap your body’s ability to heal itself.
- Meditate. Christmas often seems like one big, long line….. You have to line up to buy presents, to pay for the food in the supermarket, and all of the bars and restaurants are crammed with people waiting to order. By learning to calm your body and mind, your physical and emotional stress can melt away. This leaves you feeling better, refreshed, and ready to face the challenges of your day with a healthy attitude. With regular practice over weeks or months, you can experience even greater benefits.
Indeed christmas, is a time to celebrate, indulge, spend more time with our friend ad loved ones, a time to share our blessings, time for chidren to unwrap their gifts and most importantly- a time to reflect.
Have a great celebration folks! Christmas is a SEASON OF LOVE & GIVING.
Stay healthy and well!
Your Health Coach,