Plan for a healthy festive period

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The Christmas season is here and after a year of working hard to be healthy how can you make sure you don’t undo all that good work in a few short weeks.

Here are five tips to help you keep healthy over the festive period, so you don’t have to join the masses slogging their guts out in the gym come January.

Plan, plan, plan – You will know how many evenings you can be out per week without it taking its toll. Set that number in your head now and don’t exceed it. Make sure it’s a number that will allow you to get a good amount of sleep. On the evenings you’re at home nourish your self with nutritious food and get to bed early.

Schedule alcohol-free days – Designate certain days of the week alcohol-free and stick to it. Even if you are at a celebration on one of those days opt for non-alcoholic drinks.

Sleep – I already touched on it above but don’t burn the candle at both ends. We need at least eight hours sleep per night in order to stay healthy, and at this time of year with extra germs flying around we need all the help we can get.

Plan your indulgences – Are you a sucker for mince pies? Do you love to snuggle up with a glass of mulled wine? Can you not get enough pigs in blankets? Or do the kids have to fight you for the Roses tin? Be mindful about your indulgences this Christmas. Allow yourself the foods you enjoy but in sensible amounts, and in a conscious way. Set realistic limits and stick to them. Only allow yourself five chocolates at a time for example. Or perhaps only drink mulled wine at social events. Setting yourself these boundaries in advance will prevent you from mindlessly chomping through the calories.

Move – If you do no exercise at all throughout the Christmas period it can be very hard to get back to your exercise routine come January. Whatever number of exercise sessions you tend to do on a “normal” week, stick to it during the festivities, even if you need to make swaps. You may change you Friday morning kettlebell session for a winter walk with the kids for example, or your Tuesday night circuits class for a 20 min jog. Maintaining the habit of exercising is far better than having to restart the habit again in January.

Enjoy Christmas in a healthy way, focussing on spending time with the people you love. Your soul and waistline will thank you for it.

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Laura Hilton