The easiest way to a healthy Christmas is to eat a good breakfast. Skip breakfast, and you may fill up on sugary snacks midmorning, or overindulge at that office lunch. So make sure you make your first meal of the day your most nutritionally balanced. Opt for sugar-free muesli, Greek yoghurt, smoothies or eggs to get your day off to the best start.
2. Get out of the house
Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved, like a long walk after a particularly heavy meal for example. Exercise doesn’t need to be at a gym – use summer to change up your regular exercise, like a beach run instead of hitting the treadmill.
3. Prioritise your workouts in the morning
While everyone’s having a lie-in, get your workout over and done with – getting your heart rate up and working your muscles will help metabolise all that excess festive “spirit” later in the day. And can indulge when everyone else remarks, “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…
4. Celebrate the seasonal flavours
Unlike our northern hemisphere friends, an Australian Christmas falls in the midst of our summer, when a smorgasbord of fresh seasonal produce is available to all. Add to that our love of Asian cuisine, and its inherently lighter dishes, and you have a recipe for a healthy Christmas lunch that doesn’t include potatoes three ways and stuffing.
5. Swap out the sweets
Instead of turning to the traditional mince pies, chocolates and fudge, opt for fruit skewers, frozen mango bars and icy poles as the treats in which you indulge. Perfect for a hot Australian Christmas Day.
6. Engage Your Brain
While it’s tempting to zonk out in front of the TV after a big meal, keep your mind active by playing games like Trivial Pursuit or Charades. It’s a great way of getting everyone together, and exercises your grey matter. If you aren’t a ‘game’ person, engage your mind by setting up any new gadgets, such as Playstations, iPads, mobile phones or laptops.
7. Do something active every day
Set aside at least 20 minutes a day for some kind of fitness training – it doesn’t matter if it’s a brisk walk, yoga, a jog, Pilates or enthusiastic karaoke dancing, as long as it gets your heart rate up and moves those muscles.
8. Find a workout buddy
If you can find a supportive workout buddy, that’ll help a lot – you can help keep each other on track so you don’t fall off the health wagon in December.
9. Drink less alcohol, more water
Christmas in an Australian summer means dehydration is a real danger, especially if you’ve been hitting the booze. Reward your backyard game of cricket with a glass of water rather than a cold beer for a more healthy Christmas.
10. Keep regular sleep patterns
Good health requires consistent, high-quality sleep, but this can sometimes be a challenge because of the new stresses that Christmas-time brings. Add in the hot weather and it can be tricky to get the sleep you need. Try and stay on top of your sleep patterns so you don’t ‘crash and burn’ from fatigue.
11. Use common sense at the Christmas table
When it comes to eating over this Christmas, eat smart: choose more turkey, salad, vegetables and fruit, and less ham, cake, pudding and chips. Give soft drinks a firm no and keep your portion sizes under control.
12. Keep stress to a minimum
‘Tis the season to be jolly’ but jolly is the last thing many of us feel with overspending, cooking, cleaning, endless ‘to do’ lists and visitors we could do without. Try to keep a sense of humour and proportion. Is it really the end of the world if the carrots are overcooked or if the table setting isn’t perfect? Remember, Christmas (and Aunt Ethel’s disapproving glare) is just one day out of 365.We can help you have a healthy Christmas and stay fit over this crazy period, and beyond, with a tailored program designed to get you at your best. Contact us today.
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