We are now well and truly in December and the festive season is in full swing, so I thought it would be a good time to share a few little tips on how to stay healthy during the holidays.
I absolutely love this time of year and the Christmas spirit all around, however I'll be the first to admit it can be a little overwhelming and easy to get off the healthy track. With lots of yummy temptations at every turn and very busy schedules as we rush around trying to fit in the Christmas shopping, finishing work deadlines and seeing family & friends, it can be hard to stay on top of it all.
So how do we make it a healthy merry guilt-free time of year?
Here are 5 of my top Healthy Christmas tips:
Drink plenty of water! It's so easy to forget water when it's cold outside and we're often more likely to grab a hot drink. However water will keep you feeling fresh and stop you getting dehydrated. Rushing in and out of shops and being in heated spaces makes it very easy to get dehydrated, which can lead to headaches, dry skin and can often make you feel more hungry than you really are. So keep a bottle of water in your bag and make sure you drink it throughout the day.. and even more so if you're enjoying a few glasses of mulled wine or cocktails.
Extra veg! Special Christmas menues are everywhere and although they often sound yummy they tend to be very meat focused, so when possible go for veggie sides (leafy greens when possible) The veggies on your plate will help fill you up with healthy nutrients and make sure you keep a balanced diet. Try not to overdo the meat and carbs, and if you ahve a choice go for the Turkey as it's a very lean meat choice.
Exercise! Last Christmas I decided I would run everyday over the Christmas week (except Christmas Day), each day trying to get a little quicker on the route I was doing through the countryside. I set the intention as we arrived and some of my family decided to join in, and it ended up being a lot of fun. After breakfast a group of us would set out, wrap up warm and chat away as we went on our run. When we got home we felt more energised for our day, relaxed and ready to enjoy the goodies. It was such an amazing addition to Christmas and I highly recommend it or something similar. Find a fun activity you can enjoy with either one person or the whole family and motivate each other to stick with it. By the end of Christmas not only would you have done some exercise and be able to enjoy a well deserved Christmas dinner, but you would have also spent time with loved ones & maybe even seen some progress in your chosen sport. So don't forget to pack those trainers!
Sleep! It may seem obvious but sleep is essential to staying healthy and happy, and it's often bottom of our priority list at this time of year. Even when you're hectic and trying to do everything, make sure you enjoy some down time to recharge the batteries and get some good nights sleep in. When we're tired our energy drops, we tend to eat more and crave sugar and caffeine and our immune system takes a hit making us more susceptible to bugs. So by all means have fun.. but don't forget those zzzzzzzz's
Eat Meals! Snacks, nibbles, canapes.. they're my favourites.. but they are the worst! It's easy to snack throughout the day as we head to parties, see friends & even as you shop there are mince pies or bites to eat as you browse. This is often the biggest down fall as we tend to eat much more and even when we're not hungry, or even snack and not really count it as eating something. Try to stick to your normal meals in a day and make sure you eat properly before heading out. This should help stop the temptation of reaching for those mince pies as you'll already be full and will help stop the snacking.
The most important thing is to enjoy yourself and be happy. Embrace this time of year, and if you do have a few hiccups here or there don't beat yourself up about it, it is the time of year to have fun and enjoy yourself. Follow with these simple tips and you'll be smiling all the way into 2015!
Enjoy your healthy happy Christmas!
Co-Founder of The Retreat Collection
Yoga Teacher & Holistic Health Coach