Looking forward to that hard-earned break this festive season? While the Christmas holidays are generally filled with fun, family and a host of delicious food, there’s no reason why you can’t still look after your health, whilst letting your hair down too.
We’ve put together 7 simple tips to keep yourself healthy and happy
1 Start the day with a hearty breakfast
You’ve heard the saying that “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” right? Well, it’s the truth! Research shows that those who break the night fast by eating breakfast have better blood sugar control (which means fewer cravings) and more energy throughout the day. A healthy breakfast such as our loaded yoghurt gives your body the nutrients it needs to function at its best.
2 Laugh more
Not only is laughing good for the soul, but it’s also brilliant for your health too – and what better time to laugh a little more and let your hair down than the “silly season”? Smiling and laughing helps to lower blood pressure, protect your heart muscles and releases serotonin, the essential brain chemical that’s affected by prescribed antidepressants.
3 Prioritise sleep to beat fatigue
One of the best ways to recharge over the festive season is to prioritise sleep and rest as much as possible. According to a study published in Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews daytime fatigue is a consequence of our modern society and is mostly caused by a lack of sleep or disrupted sleep.
Try to factor in at least 15 minutes in bed before going to sleep. Use the time to read, relax and rest. Lying there, simply being aware of the peace and quiet around you is a form of meditation that’ll help to calm your nervous system and set you up for a better night’s sleep.
4 Enjoy a daily walk
You don’t need to run for miles or push to the max in the gym to reap the rewards of regular exercise. Walking is one of the simplest activities you can do, yet it’s incredibly beneficial for your health. Here’s why:
- It’s a natural mood booster
- It encourages a steady flow of oxygen throughout the body
- It helps to regulate hormones
- It curbs cravings
- It helps fight major diseases
- It burns unwanted fat – especially around the belly which can be dangerous for your health
There’s no better time than the festive season to prioritize a daily walk. Your body will thank you for it!
5 Take care of your gut
Rich food and free-flowing alcohol at Christmas parties can play havoc with your digestion, but there are a few simple ways to protect your gut:
- Drink plenty of water. This helps to keep your bowels moving, so there’s less pressure build-up- which can lead to bloating and gassiness.
- Don’t lie down straight after a meal as your body best digests food in an upright position.
- If you’re getting up later than usual, don’t skip meals as big gaps can slow digestion. Rather stick to smaller, regular meals.
- We know it’s tempting to enjoy pre-dinner cocktails, but if you want to save your gut, it’s important to line your stomach with some food before drinking, and then alternate alcohol with water. This helps to flush out toxins and protect your skin.
Feel the need to constantly nibble on holiday? Have a glass of water instead and wait 10 minutes – chances are your hunger pangs are caused by dehydration
Here are a few more healthy food swaps you can make this festive season:
- Instead of a packet of chips, dip into some cucumber slices with a triangle of light soft cheese.
- Don’t buy flavoured popcorn: make your own (easy and fun) and sprinkle with a little grated dark chocolate.
- Nuts about nuts? Eat a handful of pistachios over any other – they’re lower in kilojoules than many varieties.
- Eat grilled, not fried, chicken, and share a portion of fries.
- Swap battered prawns with sweet chilli sauce for lightly basted grilled prawns.
- Choose thin and crispy pizza instead of thick or cheese-filled.
- Replace Cheddar cheese in your sandwich with low-fat cheese spread.
- Skip the mayo and rather add a squeeze of lemon juice or a dollop of mustard to your sandwich.
- Lose the creamy salad dressing and opt for lemon juice or balsamic vinegar instead
6 Relish in the time with friends and family
The holidays are the perfect time to enjoy the company of loved ones where you have the chance to laugh and connect through shared experiences. Engaging with friends and family isn’t just good for your social life, it’s necessary for your health too, as it can ward off loneliness, help you cope better with stress and improve your overall psychological well-being.
The American Society of Aging notes that older adults with a good social network have better cognitive functions and a sharper memory than those who spend more time alone. Spending time with others can also help to lower blood pressure and boost the immune system.
7 Don’t forget your supplements
While it’s totally normal to let your hair down on holiday and have a few more glasses of wine or treats here and there (especially around Christmas), it’s still important to stick to your normal healthy routines such as taking your daily supplements, getting enough sleep and eating plenty of nourishing foods including fruits and veggies. But the good news is that you can simplify your wellness regime by replacing some individual supplements with one all-in-one drink mix like our beauty infused COLLAGEN. Just one sachet contains over 25 vitamins, minerals and beauty-loving nutrients to support your body from head to toe.
Be sure to look out for our special holiday bundles and deals this month including all our best buys!