Christmas is just around the corner, folks! For many the holiday season is a time usually associated with excess. We’re encouraged to gorge on enormous dinners over Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. We’re encouraged to drink alcohol until our hair starts to fall out at the office Christmas party. We’re encouraged to let ourselves go until new year rolls around and then we can pick up the pieces in the new year with a healthy dose of January self-loathing.
But there are many of us who want to get off this carousel. We’d rather enjoy a healthy festive season. Who says that in order to have happy and fulfilling holidays we have to indulge our very worst habits? If you think it’s the season to be healthy as well as jolly here are some ways in which you can enjoy better mental and physical health, greater productivity at work and self-confidence that comes with knowing that you won’t be joining the self-loathing masses in the line for the gym when January rolls around.
There’s absolutely no reason to wait until the new year to walk a healthier path. Now is the perfect time to…
Check on your digestive health
As the old saying says, you are what you eat. However, you’re also the way you eat it. Even a healthy diet is rendered less effective if you don’t have a healthy digestive system to help assimilate it. With this in mind, now’s the perfect time to see a stomach doctor to ensure that your digestive system is working as well as it possibly can.
It’s also a good idea to get out of bad habits that can impede digestive health. For example, sitting can put a lot of pressure on our internal organs and impede digestion. Whether you’re hunched over your desk at work or sitting on the sofa with the family, try to get up for a few minutes at least once an hour.
Over the holiday season, it seems like the only liquids many of us will be imbibing are coffee to keep our engines running throughout the day, or alcohol when the day is done. While both of these are fine in moderation, we must always remember to drink lots and lots of water, especially over the holiday season.
Good hydration can help you to remain focused at work while shaking of the sluggish feeling that the winter can leave us with. It can also help to bolster the immune system, making you better able to fight off the common bugs and viruses that are all too common over Christmas.
If you’re stick of starting the big day with a headache and runny nose every year, staying hydrated is a great start.
Have yourself a veggie little Christmas
We all know that the Christmas holiday is traditionally associated with turkey, ham, sausage and all manner of stuffings. But while meat may be the most traditional option for Christmas dinner, it may not be the healthiest. When it comes to diet, the rule of thumb is summed up in 7 simple words. “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants”. If your tendency is to pile on the meat and neglect the veggies this Christmas, that’s a habit you’ll have to break for a healthy and guilt-free diet.
The good news is that there are a great many vegetarian and vegan Christmas dinners which are every bit as tasty but a whole lot more nourishing than the traditional fare. “But what about protein?” you may ask. There are numerous complete proteins to be found in plant based foods. Seitan for example (a gluten based meat alternative) actually has more protein than beef and a fraction of the saturated fat.
Christmas cheer doesn’t come in a bottle
A lot of us drink too much over Christmas. At some point the holidays were misconstrued as a free pass to drink to excess but this can do damage to our health that can take a long time to reverse. Not to mention the fact that alcohol can really exacerbate the depression that many of us feel around the holiday time.
Begin your winter mornings with a workout
Finally, the best way to start a winter morning (even a cold, dark and dreary one) is with a workout. Whether it’s a trip to the gym, a brisk jog or a little cardio at home, it can not only help us to stay fit and healthy, but it gives our brains a jolt of mood boosting chemicals like dopamine, adrenaline and endorphins to help us to start a dark and dreary day in a bright and positive way.
Have a happy, healthy holiday dear reader!