As we're strolling towards Christmas, we thought it might be an idea to jot down some easy tips on how to stay healthy during the season of fun and festive feasts.
Vol au vents and cocktails
Try to eat something before heading off to that work party or Christmas charity event. Cocktails will be flowing and those tasty little party bites will be doing the rounds but won't be enough to soak up the alcohol. A substantial protein and fibre-filled snack before you leave will work wonders! Oh, and if you switch in a couple of glasses of water during the evening you'll stave off that hangover too.
Just keep walking
No one wants to think about heading down to the gym for your weekly workout routine when it's party time, but at this time of the year being outside and going on a brisk walk or hike will keep you healthy, and it's a great way to catch up with friends or family. And of course, there's always a welcome stop-off at a country pub with a roaring log fire!
Add some fibre to your festive feasts
You'll feel full quicker if you add whole-food ingredients to your meals. Vegetables, whole grains, fruits, legumes, herbs, nuts and seeds will stop you from snacking and your gut will love you!
Try to drink six to eight glasses of water, or plenty of herbal teas or diluted juice if you know you're going on a night out, or going to be drinking alcohol on Christmas day. Even mild dehydration can lead to a headache and because alcohol has a diuretic effect, maintaining your fluid intake is important. Regular teas and coffee count towards your fluid intake, but caffeinated versions shouldn't make-up your full quota.
Eat well the morning after
Mushrooms are great for their energising B vitamins, tomatoes for vitamin C and onions for their liver-friendly sulphur compounds. Eggs are an excellent choice for the morning after because they provide choline, a nutrient that supports the liver. Add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper or a chopped chilli to boost circulation and rev up your recovery. If you can't face a cooked breakfast then have a smoothie made with fruits like bananas, oranges or kiwi – these are rich in potassium which helps replenish the electrolytes lost due to the diuretic effects of alcohol.
Christmas can be a real stress booster. We all have busy lives as it is but add to that buying and wrapping gifts, planning and cooking all the food, decorating the house and generally trying to make it a perfect Christmas for everyone, can take its toll. You need sleep! Sleep is probably the single most important step you can take when it comes to improving your overall health. Try to sleep around seven hours a night, placing the emphasis on quality of sleep as well as quantity. And if you're having trouble getting into that sleep routine try a massage.
The chemistry of sleep is relevant in relation to massage because it directly influences the body’s production of serotonin, which is essential for the production of melatonin. Melatonin often referred to as the sleep hormone, is a central part of the body’s sleep-wake cycle. Its production increases with evening darkness, promoting healthy sleep and helping to orient the body’s circadian rhythm.
Of course, as soon as Christmas is over we're into New Year's resolutions - see you all on the other side!
If you'd like to include massage into your daily routine, or just need a little stress buster after Christmas and the New Year, please get in touch.