Follow these simple steps that will keep you feeling fit and fabulous into new year!
1. Set yourself some rules
The festive season brings a busy time for our social calendar with plenty of get-togethers and Christmas dinner. The first thing to suffer is usually our wellness routine.
The flow on effect is our bodies do not process alcohol and excess food efficiently, which compromises our immune system and leaves us lethargic and susceptible to illnesses.
Before the holiday season starts make some conscious rules about your eating, drinking and exercise regime and stick to your rules. Each achievement will encourage you onto the next.
Remember if you fail to plan, you are plan to fail.
2. Make Christmas an outdoors party
On Christmas morning, organise a candy cane hunt to get children up and into the fresh air. Do it the same way as an Easter egg hunt. During the season remember to organise lots of outdoor activities, this can be a fun and enjoyable way for both adults and children to get out and enjoy the beautiful outdoors, stay fit, burn off the Christmas treats and connect with each other.
This definitely beats sitting on the lounge having a few too many drinks while the kids are locked in their rooms playing video games.
3. Keep and eye on the Kilo’s
Christmas is a really easy time to put on the kilos we’ve worked so hard to lose over the year, on average we put on 1.5kg over the holidays.
Keep a record of your weight with weekly weigh ins and if you notice an increase, take charge by cutting back on desserts and drinks, eating smaller portions by using an entree plate instead of a dinner and do more physical activities, like swimming, hiking or a game of backyard cricket.
Keep some healthy snacks on hand too, like fruit, a healthy packed lunch or protein shake.
4. Gratitude is key to a happy Christmas
We all have obligatory Christmas events and dinners we rather wouldn’t. From uncomfortable family members to the crowded shopping centres and excessive spending, Christmas can take it’s toll on our mental health.
Instead focus on the positives and go with a good mindset, it will make those experiences less stressful.
Come up with three reasons why you are grateful for each experience. This could be having a family and being included with others, to being able to buy presents and brining g joy to people. See every experience as a chance to grown and learn.
5. Watch the drink and take stock
Drinking is unfortunately synonymous with celebrations and especially Christmas. Excessive drinking is the largest cause of accidents at home, cases of domestic violence and increase admission to emergency rooms, ambulance and police call outs and arrests and overnight imprisonment.
Avoid these mishaps by keeping a record of your drinking, delay top ups and drink water or non alcoholic drinks in-between. For group outings consider being the sober driver once in a while and give yourself a few days off drinking.
6. Be Accountable
Accountability is key when staying on your wellness routine. You can either hire a personal trainer, get an exercise buddy or do group exercises with some mates.
You will stay more motivated and focused if you have someone pushing you.
7. Eat natures blessings
Do not over indulge at Christmas dinner and other get togethers. Instead tamper your intake with fresh fruit and vegetables that are plentiful during this time of the year. You can make vegetable dips with rice crackers, vegetable sticks, hummus or a nice summer salad.
Seasonal food is fresh and full of nutrients to give you the energy to enjoy your holidays.
8. Re-evaluate and plan for next year
Use the slower pace of Christmas holidays to do some self-evaluation and prepare for a happy new year. Christmas also provides us with some down time. Use this opportunity to self-evaluate and prepare yourself for the coming year.
Think about where you are, where you’ve come from, what you’ve achieved.
Reflect on what you’d like to change and what’s working for you. Have long terms goals broken into short term once, this will keep you motivated and provide you with a clear guideline on days when you’re feeling less for wear.
9. Be heart healthy
In a University of Melbourne research found there was nearly 5% increase in heart attacks between Christmas and New Years. This study provides a good reason why we must continue to eat well, exercise and manage stress to take care of our heart.
The study also suggested that this increase may be due to people consuming more and exercising less, increased alcohol intake, increase in stress and throwing caution to the wind and not seeking timely medical care.
10. Temper your expectations
Relationships Australia research about Christmas stress found about 20 per cent of men and women say their family relationships at this time of year are affected by differing expectations or values around Christmas.
Having unrealistic expectations and values takes an unnecessary and severe toll on ones relationships. When we can’t live up to these unrealistic ideas of a perfect Christmas, stress and conflicts will arise. Unfortunately the end of the holiday season are busiest time for divorce lawyers.
Take Christmas back to basics. Connect with people and enjoy the simpler, cheaper things in life. We should all reframe expectations around Christmas to ease pressure.
11. It’s always the right time to start fresh
If you’ve let your exercise routine slip over the festive season, don’t completely give up. Start with something easy like a brisk walk or a light jog. If you start with something small and achieve your goals you will want to continue on and get back into your healthy habits.
Try scaling back on the intensity of your previous exercises to minimise injury. The key is to be patient with your body. Most importantly don’t fall for the exercise and weight loss hacks popular around this time, like starving, detoxing or taking crazy supplements – all this does is set you up for failure.
12. Team work and delegation
Christmas is an extremely busy and chaotic time if you’re trying to organise everything by yourself! You don’t have to tackle everything by yourself, this will only wear you down, increase your stress levels and leave you angry and resentful. Ask people for help and delegate your responsibilities. Despite the initial groans in the end everyone will be happy with the final results and having pitched in.
The food shopping, the present buying and wrapping, cleaning the house and putting decorations, these can all be delegated or done together. Remember many hands make light work.