Christmas is only a matter of sleeps away, which means Mariah Carey is following you everywhere, it’s acceptable to eat chocolate for breakfast, and there are endless supplies of mince pies and chocolate tins everywhere you go (and you always end up eating some).
Whilst there’s no doubt that the festive season is great fun if we’re being honest – it’s also full of stress and excess.
You’re trying to get everything sorted in time for Christmas Day, as well as be on top form for all the of your friends and families celebrations, all at the same time as eating copious amounts of platters of nibbles and maybe even enjoying more drinks than you usually would.
While I don’t want to turn into Scrooge over Christmas, I wanted to write this to let you know there’s a middle ground between over-doing it at all of your Christmas parties and replacing all chocolate with vegetables instead.
Even if it’s simply factoring in a 20 minutes afternoon walk each day, focusing on more protein, and choosing a good quality wine or gin over a big glass of Baileys – there’s plenty of ways to keep healthy, and not push to the side all of the hard work you’ve done leading up to the Christmas period.
Here are 5 tips to help you do that:
Switch things up in the kitchen:
There’s a handful of easy swaps that can taper the excess indulging and keep you feeling healthy – why not try sweet potatoes instead of your usual spuds? You can roast them or turn them into a delicious mash. Plus they’re high in fibre, potassium and vitamin A – just a handful of essential nutrients a lot of us miss out on.
When it comes to enjoying a nice drink, think about switching from heavy, creamy drinks to a good quality white tequila with ice and fresh lime, or a nice glass of wine.
There’s plenty of ways to swap foods for tasty, healthy options without them being ‘boring’.
Eat more citrus:
I begin and end each day with a cup of hot water and lemon. And in my fridge is always a fresh jug of water with sliced up lemon – this is a great way to get the body ready in the morning and for a good detox.
And if you’re feeling under the weather (because who doesn’t suffer from a cold this time of year?) add a teaspoon of honey to chase the winter bugs away.
Look after yourself:
We’re all aware of the importance of exercise and a healthy, balanced, diet – but this time of year it can be easy to let those good habits slip.
If you’ve already established a routine, do your best to stick to it. And even if that goes out of the window, give yourself at least 10 minutes of ‘me time’ a day, so you don’t always feel like you’re running around trying to get things done.
Bring a healthy option:
This one is especially for you if you’ve got plenty of Christmas parties to go to, and if you’ve been asked to bring a dish along with you, look up a healthy recipe, or a healthy alternative to a Christmas dish online for everyone to enjoy.
Christmas parties and buffets don’t have to be full of unhealthy options!
And for my final tip for today…
Take some time out:
Seriously, do it. You’re likely rushing around all day, every day at the moment, so it’s important to make yourself a hot drink and put your feet up for a moment.
You could find time to play a fun family board game, read a book, watch your favourite show.
Taking some quality time out of your busy schedule this time of year is essential to de-stress.
There you have it, 5 simple ways to not get as stressed and stay healthy this time of year.
Have a wonderful Christmas! 😉
P.S If you’ve got a bad back which is getting in the way of enjoying all the festive fun this year, click here to download my free back pain guide which contains simple things you can do to start easing it right away: www.paulgoughphysio.com/back-pain/
You might know Paul as an expert Columnist who writes weekly health articles for TWO of the North East's biggest daily Newspapers, The Northern Echo And The Hartlepool Mail, he is a regular Speaker at Industry Seminars around the globe and a Radio Personality, often heard on the BBC. Paul has been an expert guest on dozens of Radio shows and regularly interviewed in newspapers, magazines and trade journals all over the world, including the Guardian.
Paul’s background included working extensively in the Premier League with a Top Professional Football Team, and since quitting his job in Professional Football in 2007, his Physio Practice has become the fastest growing in the UK and biggest in the North East. So successful, that companies like BUPA, ASDA, The Vela Group And Coast & Country, repeatedly retain his Physio company's services to keep healthy their own staff and workforce. Paul Gough Physio Rooms is now a large multi-physio, multi clinic speciality practice in Darlington, Durham, Guisborough and Hartlepool.
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