Stay healthy through the silly season with these 6 easy tips
A break from work, long summer evenings and lots of time spent with family and friends – all this can add up to over-eating, not sleeping as much as you should, and slacking off on the exercise. But there are some basic things you can do to keep a healthier balance in your life over the festive season, starting with these 6 easy tips.
Plan your week(s) ahead
Regardless of how much time you have off over the festive season, planning your days around a balance of socialising, relaxing and physical activity is the best way to make sure you get the most out of your break and don’t go overboard with any one of the three. This way, you won’t wake up on the last day of your holiday wondering what you did with your time …
Learn when to say ‘no’
Lots of us find ourselves inundated with invitations leading up to Christmas and in the week before New Year’s Eve, and it is very difficult to turn them down. After all, we tell ourselves, it only happens once a year. But over-doing it with the parties can turn a chance for some well-deserved R&R into a recovery period, so you end up back at work feeling like you need another holiday. The key is to learn how to say ‘no’ to invites — not to all of them, of course; just enough to allow you to have some real down-time.
Start the day with a healthy breakfast
One of the first things that tends to go out the window when we’re on holiday is regular eating habits, particularly breakfast. Yet eating a healthy breakfast, regardless of what you’ve got planned, will help sustain your energy throughout the day and make you less inclined to over-eat at lunch or dinner. And what makes this so easy to achieve is the ready availability of a whole range of delicious summer fruits.
Sleep regular hours
Apart from the odd late night over the break, such as the hard-to-avoid New Year’s Eve celebrations, try to have at least eight hours sleep a night, and go to bed and get up at regular times. Not only will this prepare you for the inevitable return to work, but having enough sleep will ensure you have the energy to get through the demands of your social calendar.
Exercise daily, at least just a little
For many of us, the silly season is a chance to break up the routine and skip the gym or the morning jog for a few days, and this is absolutely fine! But don’t stop the exercise completely, as you’ll end up feeling sluggish and lacking in energy when it’s time to get back into the routine. Instead, use the break as an opportunity to do something a bit different to get your exercise, such as a bike ride, a hike or a day at the beach swimming or surfing.
Indulge in moderation
So far, you’ve been pretty good and stayed on top of things, but now you feel like having a bit of serious fun. Well, even serious fun can be balanced if you add a splash of sensible, such as keeping an eye on what you eat and drink and refraining from over-indulging. You might even discover that you have more fun, and you definitely won’t suffer from regret the next day. In fact, rather than devoting a day of your precious holiday to recuperating, you can spend the time doing something you enjoy.