While Christmas is a time to be jolly, enjoy all the glorious food and drink on offer and wind down after a long year, many people can find Christmas quite a daunting time – especially those who are on a health journey.
Being out of routine – which is inevitable over the Christmas period, can be a big trigger for some people to go back to their old habits. However, you can still be merry and maintain your health and fitness over the festive period!
We’ve listed a few top tips below to help you stay on track this Christmas. And remember, finding balance is the key to a healthy and happy lifestyle.
Turkey trot or a jolly jog? Christmas is a time to unwind and relax, but it’s still important to keep up our activity levels for our mental and physical health. No, you don’t need to set off on a long run or hit the gym, gentle exercise like going for a short walk is enough to get those endorphins flowing and blood pumping.
Where you can, try to incorporate your family or friends into some movement. Maybe you’ll make a Christmas Day walk a new tradition?
Make sure you still eat plenty of nutritious food alongside all your festive favourites – don’t neglect the broccoli and carrots on your Christmas dinner! The Eat Well Plate found here can be a great guide to know exactly how much of each food group you should be eating.
Ready, steady, bake
Unearth your whisks and trays and get festive baking! We have some classic Christmas treats (made just that little bit healthier) on our page here. Over at Fitter Futures Warwickshire, you can find us whipping up these gingerbread biscuits.
Overcome the all-or-nothing thinking
Many of us tend to let our healthy habits slip and adopt the ‘all-or-nothing’ approach over Christmas where we overindulge in food and alcohol, to then restrict in the New Year heavily. This way of thinking often results in unhealthy obsessions surrounding food and exercise which can deter you from reaching your health goals.
Our FREE Adult Weight Management service has worked with lots of people to overcome this mindset and succeed in their goals healthily. To find out more, click here.
Cut down on your alcohol intake
This time of year is often when our social lives skyrocket and you may feel a lot of pressure to drink more alcohol than you usually would. Try going alcohol-free on some occasions, or if you still want to enjoy a tipple, opt for a small glass of wine or half a pint of beer to avoid binge-drinking.
The NHS recommends that adults should not drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week, and if you drink that much, it is best to spread it over three or more days. 14 units is the equivalent of 6 pints of beer, 6 medium size glasses of wine or 7 double measures of spirits.
Be kind to yourself!
Perhaps the most important tip of them all – remember to be kind to yourself throughout this period! Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to do everything at once and know that you can gradually ease back into your daily routine once the festivities are over.
Happy Christmas, all!