5 top tips for a healthy, happy Christmas

2 minutes

With temptation all around us at Christmas time, our calorie intake can be excessive and it's not just Christmas Day we have to contend with.

Enjoy the Christmas festivities, without an impact on your health and waistline

Whether you’re stuck in the office or at home, there seems to be a never ending supply of snacks and treats available to overindulge on throughout the festive period.

As a leading provider of life insurance we understand the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, but also know that it’s ok to enjoy the occasional treat – especially at Christmas. With that in mind, we’ve come up with some healthy tips so you can still enjoy all the Christmas festivities, without too much of an impact on your health and waistline.

1. Get active

Yes, it’s tempting to claim your spot on the sofa, plonk yourself down and not move for the whole day – especially with all the TV Christmas specials and movies. But you don’t need to spend the whole day sitting down – encourage the family to go out for a walk. A brief walk shortly after eating is a quick way to burn some calories and aid digestion – and what better way to make use of any new outdoor gifts like bikes or scooters.

2. Skip the shop bought treats

Indulge in only the most special of treats this Christmas; the homemade cakes your child has made at school or the Christmas pudding your Nan prides herself on. There will be many opportunities to overeat, so take the time to carefully consider what to enjoy and what to give a miss. Stop and think, do you really need that third shop bought mince pie!?

3. Beat back the common cold

Colds and viruses are rife during the winter months and we’re all bound to come into contact with germs. Chances are, wherever you look people are sneezing, coughing and sniffling. But catching a cold isn’t inevitable. Help your body to fight off viruses by staying hydrated, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and following simple hygiene practices like washing your hands regularly. Maintaining a healthy immune system is also important, and while an apple a day may keep the doctor away, broth-based soups, hot teas and citrus foods can all help give your body the boost it needs to fight back.

4. Drink sensibly

Most of us like a tipple at Christmas; the tip is not to overdo it. Mulled wine, sugary cocktails, hot chocolate and brandy… drinks like these are all packed with calories that can lead you to easily go over your daily calorie allowance. So if you're watching what you eat at the dinner table, you'll want to keep an eye on what goes in your glass too. Drinking can also lead to making bad food choices, so try to keep it to a minimum and remember to alternate your alcoholic drinks with water or soft drinks.

5. And remember - don't stress!

‘Tis the season to be jolly’. Christmas can be a very stressful time of year, between juggling social interactions, the cleaning, shopping, cooking and endless ‘to-do’ lists many of us can end up feeling far from jolly. But before you cancel the festivities, take a moment to breathe and keep things in perspective. Does it really matter if the potatoes aren’t cooked to perfection, that dinner is late or you’ve run out of gravy? It’s one day out of 365, surround yourself with loved ones and things that make you happy and enjoy the day, it really isn’t worth stressing over!