Health tips for a healthy Christmas

There’s no doubt that the festive season is a challenging time if you are trying to stay healthy and reduce body fat. It usually revolves around food (and not always healthy choices), large portions and lashing of alcohol to wash it all down. Christmas celebrations can last for weeks, so there are some things you need to watch out for. There are also some simple steps you can take to stay on track while still enjoying this special time of the year.

A Partridge in a pear tree 
Forget the partridges, but focus on the pear. Fruit is a convenient snack choice, and can even be used as a healthy dessert option

2 Turtle doves 
Doves symbolise peace, and you can maintain the peace by staying calm. Christmas can be a time of anxiety and heightened family tension, so have a plan to keep your stress at bay.

3 French hens 
If poultry is on the menu, try to have it without the skin, which can dramatically reduce the saturated fat content.

4 Calling birds 
Calling may not be so bad, but getting in a shout can make it hard to say no to a few extra drinks. Consume alcohol in moderation, and balance out your drinks by having water in between, and doing a little extra exercise.

5 Golden rings 
To avoid getting dark rings under your eyes, make sure you get enough sleep. We need a certain amount of sleep every night to stay healthy, so try to get to bed early some nights if you need to catch up.

6 Geese are laying 
While those 6 Geese are busy laying, make sure you get busy having at least 6 large glasses of water a day. It will help you stay hydrated and make you feel fuller when you eat. Drink a little extra if it’s very hot, if you’re very active, or if you work in an air conditioned environment.

7 Swans are swimming 
This a great time of year to do a little water based exercise such as swimming. It keeps you cool while you workout, and you’ll feel refreshed and energised afterwards

8 Maids are milking 
If you consume milk and other dairy products, try to choose the lowest fat option such as skim milk and low fat yoghurt. You’ll get all the protein and calcium, but without the kilojoules

9 Ladies dancing 
Use some of your time with friends and family to engage in fun and social activities such as dancing, soccer, golf, tennis, or beach volleyball. It doesn’t have to all be about food.

10 Lords are leaping 
Make like one of those 10 lords, and leap into the New Year with a positive health and fitness goal. Think about one or two small changes that can make a big difference over time, such as to cut out butter, or eliminate sugar in your coffee.

11 Pipers piping 
Musical pipes aren’t so bad, but the smoke from tobacco pipes and cigarettes is enough to make Santa run in the opposite direction. Be aware of the dangers of passive smoke, and do your best to avoid it while out celebrating.

12 Drummer’s drumming 
If you wake up after your office Christmas party with the sound of 12 drummers drumming in your head, drink plenty of water, and make yourself a healthy breakfast. Avoid bingeing on junk food when you have a hangover.

(Reprinted from Blackmores Wellness)

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