Who doesn’t love the Christmas holidays? Lots of fun, food and frolics plus late nights, lying-in in the mornings and generally over-indulging in many ways. However, you might have got away with it a few years ago but once you get to the 50 plus age group, it is all too easy for the pounds to start creeping on, lethargy to set in and long country walks after Christmas lunch to disappear.
How you can enjoy a healthy Christmas
So how can you enjoy Christmas without subjecting your health to a battering? Here are 5 tips to help you keep healthy over Christmas and once you get into the groove, you are bound to think up a few more of your own!
- Take the emphasis off food – you know what it’s like in the supermarkets and stores before Christmas; shopping trollies piled high and excessive food bills. People shop as if there is no tomorrow, filling their fridges, freezers and shelves with more of the same. How about setting yourself apart from this? Try shopping for food online and not being tempted by the marketing gimmicks. Shop when you are not hungry as this way you buy less. There is no reason to give up on the old favourites like turkey, Christmas pud and cake but go easy on the rest of it.
- Get some exercise – whether it’s a stroll around the town, city park or wandering with the dog over the fields, build some exercise into your daily holiday routine. Even just half an hour of walking burns off calories, stimulates circulation and digestion, puts the colour into your cheeks and provides a general feel-good factor.
- Use your relaxation time wisely – there is no reason to give up all of your time spent in front of the TV munching on a few nibbles but don’t make it the norm every day. Do you have some favourite books you want to read or re-read while you have the time? How about resurrecting some of your hobbies like painting, knitting or even making your own flower arrangements from pretty flowers, berries and leaves you have collected in the garden or on your walks? By using your brain-power by doing something creative rather than just TV remote surfing, you will feel so much better and rest more easily at the end of the day.
- Think healthy food – you have already cut down on the volume of food but you can do more by opting for the healthy options; fresh fruit instead of processed puddings, lots of greens and salad, baked potatoes instead of chips and home-made instead of shop-bought. Not only is home-made food much tastier but you will know exactly what is in it and will feel fuller at the end of the meal. There are so many shop bought canapés and so much pre-prepared party food available now but if you use your imagination, you can create lovely home made versions. You can incorporate fresh fruit and vegetables to make healthier alternatives.
- Watch the alcohol – the wine, spirits and beer all tend to flow freely at Christmas but do keep a watch on how much your drink. Not only is too much alcohol bad for your system but it also contains so many hidden calories. Get used to having fun and relaxing without a glass of wine in your hand and you will soon wonder why you drank so much before.
Enjoy your Christmas and the lack of routine, together with the lovely feeling of not having to set early alarms in the morning. By thinking healthily and being conscious of what you indulge in, you can have a wonderful holiday and not have to suffer the consequences afterwards!
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