Source: Shutterstock/Studio Romantic
AS I STRESSED in last week’s article, your main priority over the Christmas period is to enjoy yourself and spend some quality time with family and friends — but that’s not to say you should undo all your hard work.
You want to keep hold of the progress you’ve made during the year and bring it into 2018, so here are five healthy habits you should follow over the next few weeks to keep you on track.
Look after your mental fitness
Christmas is a great time of the year for most. As they say ‘tis the season to be jolly’ and all that, however it’s a time of the year where we can all stress a little too much over silly things.
In the past, I have seen Christmas cause stress, fatigue and burnout to clients and all of this builds up to effect our mental health and wellbeing.
My advice is to not let this time of the year suck you up and trample your stress levels and while it’s easier said than done, try and bring in a couple of different ways to control your stress.
Physical fitness is very important but how you train and look after your mind is just as, if not more, important. Over the festive season allow some time to work on your mindset.
A healthy mind helps a healthy body.
Doing things that help the brain slow down, de-stress and unwind are vital and this could be anything like doing some yoga, meditation or even a 15 minute home workout.
Start your day strong
Last week, I mentioned making a plan and aiming to get your exercise routine out of the way first thing in the morning if possible.
On top of that I would encourage people to start the day with a healthy kick. Let’s be honest, most of us get through the entire Christmas period without eating much fruit. It just doesn’t really feature on the Christmas menu.
But at this time of late nights, overindulging and partying, it’s more important than ever to stock up on your vitamins and minerals to help you stay in good health; fresh smoothies, multivitamin drinks or even just a class of water are ideal.
Make some of your own snacks
It’s a time of the year where we might have a little more extra time on our hands around the house.
I am always encouraging my clients to try make their own healthy snacks just like my Christmas chocolate slab below. Sure it’s time to open the Celebrations and the Roses but perhaps try get creative in the kitchen by baking some raw ingredient and healthy snacks to nibble on over the Christmas boxset.
The recipe for my Christmas chocolate slab can be found here.
Control the controllables
This is easier said than done for most but it is important.
There are going to be parties and get-together’s almost every night over the festive break and for most Irish people social gatherings tend to involve alcohol.
Now is the time of the year when you should enjoy yourself but pick and choose the gatherings you go to — you don’t need to be attending every social event.
If you do find yourself drinking a lot, my advice would be to go with the drink you truly enjoy for one or two and then keep it in moderation.
On top of that, try keep to clearer spirits, avoiding sweet mixers and too many dark beers. Simple tips that we all should know are also very helpful. Eating a well-balanced meal with carbs, proteins and fats before your night out, and drinking plenty of water on the day and in between drinks, will always help you out.
Clear the head
After a late night of festive cheer try get out and clear the head the day after.
This could be anything like a 60 minute walk that will help you dust off the cobwebs and get back into that fresh headed routine again.
With the silly season fast approaching, I aim go get Sunday morning workout in.
December Saturday nights can be full of good things like nights out, Christmas parties and catch-ups with family and friends so what better way to clear the head by getting out into the outdoors.
I am huge fan of bringing workouts outside so I’ve put together some routines that you can do outdoors with little or no equipment. Like I’ve said before, you don’t need the best, most up-to-date equipment or gym to perform an effective workout.
If you want to sweat it out a little more instead of walk then go try these three short and effective outdoor workouts.
The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):