We love the Christmas time at Active One. The Christmas lights, the parties, the presents, time off work, and most importantly getting together with our friends and family. But the increased food drink and sitting around that goes hand in hand with Christmas can start to take a toll on our health. That is why we have tried to make Christmas as healthy as possible this year with a few small adjustments. Below is a few of our helpful tips to keep healthy this holiday season:
10 Tips for a Healthier Christmas
1. Make sure you don’t go to Christmas parties hungry. Have something healthy to eat before going to your next party to avoid snacking on party food which is often packed with calories.
2. Take note of your portion sizes. It is easy to stack up your plate if there are so many delicious options to choose from. Make sure you don’t fill your plate or even use a side plate if unable to resist. And always remember not to go back for seconds.
3. Ask for healthy Christmas presents. It is often very difficult to find that perfect gift and it is often hard to think of things you need. Why not ask for something that will improve your health rather than getting another useless gift that will never see the light of day. Some great options include – a gym membership (or a season of Active One exercise classes), exercise clothing, exercise equipment, or what about cooking lessons for health foods.
4. Set yourself a New Year’s goal. Before the end of the year book yourself into a fun run or hike or sporting event that will motivate you to keep fit and active over the Christmas period.
5. Make your Christmas active. Instead of catching up with friends at a coffee shop get your coffee to go and walk and talk. Instead of sitting on the couch following Christmas lunch go for an afternoon walk with the family or even get out and play some backyard cricket, nothing is more Australian.
6. Speaking of Australian we should be changing up our traditionally “Northern Hemisphere” heavy Christmas lunch for something lighter reflecting our hot weather. A delicious seafood salad (click here for recipe) is a great replacement to a roast with all the trimmings. A frozen fruit based desert (click here for recipe) is extremely satisfying on a hot summers day compared to Christmas pudding, and much healthier.
7. Focus on eating healthy when you can. Breakfast and lunches are often not interrupted by social activities involving naughty foods. If you know you have an unhealthy dinner focus on eating as healthy as you can the rest of the times. This means no leftover Christmas puddings after the party is over.
8. Don’t lose your exercise routine. It can be hard to fit in your exercise when life gets so busy but it is important to keep your regular routine. It is easy to maintain a routine but much harder to start it back up again. Even if you have to reduce the duration of your workout it is better doing something rather than nothing. If you can’t get to the gym or if it is shut over Christmas here are some great body weight exercises that can be done quickly at home.
9. Limit alcoholic drinks. Alcohol is packed with calories and is poor for your health; try to put a limit on how much you will be drinking this holiday season. Choose light beer, avoid sugary drinks or switching our alcoholic drinks with a sparkling water are great ways to reduce these empty calories.
10. Reduce stress levels by taking time out to relax and enjoy yourself. Although Christmas is a fun time of year it can also be very stressful with last minute shopping, trying to prepare all the food, clashing with family members and trying to fit everyone in. This increased stress can be very detrimental to our health with all the changes in hormones. Increased blood pressure, weight gain, decreased immune function, poor blood glucose control, depression and anxiety are all common outcomes of increased stress. Take some time out of the festivities to relax read a book, meditate or watch a Christmas movie whatever helps reduce your stress.