How To Be Healthy Over Christmas



It’s midway through December! which means… Mariah Carey is following you everywhere, it’s acceptable to eat chocolate for breakfast, and there’s an endless supply of peppermint lattes and cookie tins everywhere you go (and you always end up eating some).

No doubt the festive season is a blast but… if we’re being honest – it’s also a time of stress and excess.

You’re trying to get everything organized in time for Christmas Day, as well as be playful and energetic for your friends’ and family’s celebrations, all while eating copious amounts of food 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 minute afternoon walk each day, focusing on more protein, and choosing a good quality wine or gin over a big glass of Bailey’s – 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 combat the excess indulging and keep you feeling healthy – why not try sweet potatoes instead of your usual spuds? You can mash them or even roast them. Plus they’re high in fiber, 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:

No doubt you know someone trying to get rid of the extra lemons and grapefruit they have right now. Go ahead and take some and try to begin and end each day with a cup of hot water and lemon. Put in your fridge a fresh jug of water with sliced-up lemon – this is a great way to get the body ready in the morning and it’s also great for 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 raw honey to chase the winter bugs away.

Take Care of 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 the window, give yourself at least 10 minutes of ‘me time’ every 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 helpful 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 favorite 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 week!

Nick Hunter, PT, DPT

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