5 hacks to stay healthy at Christmas
Knowing how to stay healthy at Christmas can often be challenging.
Continuing to eat well, stay active, and keep stress to a minimum while your social calendar is bursting at the seams (not to mention the presents that need buying and the neverending to-do list) is enough to derail even the most dedicated health bunny.
So, how can you stay healthy at Christmas without overwhelming yourself? Here we share some simple ideas to keep you feeling your best over the festive period – while still getting to enjoy the celebrations.
5 easy ways to stay healthy at Christmas
Festive fitness doesn’t have to be complicated. While you may not be able to squeeze in your usual workouts, getting out into nature can be a great way to keep active.
With more time on our hands with our loved-ones, going for a walk with family or friends is a perfect way to catch up (and tick exercise off your to-do list!).
And with more sweet treats and rich foods to enjoy during the festive period, walking or other gentle movement after eating can also help to aid digestion and keep glucose levels balanced.
From mental health to even menopause symptoms, ever-growing research shows the importance of our gut health for our overall wellbeing.
But, as Christmas is often teeming with alcohol and rich-foods, it can be easy to forget about caring for our guts when we want to indulge (or so we think!).
There are simple ways we can do-good for our guts at Christmas. You could add a gut-healthy twist to desserts by swapping your usual cream for kefir.
If you’re mixing up some cocktails and mocktails for party guests, swap sugar-filled mixers for kombucha to boost your good gut bugs.
And be sure to load up your Christmas dinner plate with plenty of varied and colourful veggies, such as Brussels sprouts and red cabbage. This will provide your microbes with lots of fibre and polyphenols to keep them happy.
You can of course enjoy a little bit of what you fancy at Christmas – life is for living, after all.
That being said, making space to eat and drink mindfully over the festive season can help us feel our best. Slow down your eating and give yourself a moment before going back for seconds or thirds to ensure you aren’t left feeling bloated and uncomfortable.
Timing can be everything when enjoying a sweet treat, too. The impact of a few chocolates on your blood sugar levels will be much less when enjoyed after a savoury meal rather than digging into a chocolate box for breakfast.
This will ensure stable energy levels so you can get your to-do list done without an afternoon slump packed with cravings.
Keep stress low
We often put an expectation on ourselves at Christmas for everything to be perfect. This means the festive period becomes extremely stressful as we’ve set unattainable standards for ourselves.
Be realistic about what you can actually achieve at this time of year. Ask loved-ones for help to ease the pressure off yourself. It’s your Christmas, too!
If it’s a packed social calendar that has become a stress, don’t be afraid to say no to invites either (ideas on how to do that here!).
If you’re drinking over the festive season, it’s important to remember to stay hydrated to ease the impact the next day and never drink on an empty stomach, either.
For every alcoholic drink you have, have one glass of water. And don’t forget extra H2O before bedtime.
And if all else fails, try these hangover hacks from Liz to recover well and stave off your hangover the morning after!
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