Planning for Christmas can be stressful, which can cause health problems to arise if you don’t keep calm, relaxed and take care of yourself.
And by this, we don’t just mean your waistline.
The holidays can be a trigger for a range of mental health issues too, or a time when you forget to take care of yourself during all of the madness, major holidays come with.
With this in mind, here are a few tips to staying healthy over the Christmas period.
Check it out
As a starting point, you should make sure that all your medical health checks are up to date.
Don’t leave it until the last minute to see your doctor when there’s something wrong.
Get in to see your doctor before Christmas, even if you don’t think there’s anything wrong with you.
Having a health check before you start overeating is a great way to know where you stand.
Of course, there is the issue of the global pandemic which may be of concern when it comes to leaving the house.
But there are solutions to this too.
To prevent you and your family from health issues as the festive season approaches, you may want to consider Medicare annual wellness visit (AWV) from a top medical institution, and with this virtual checkup option, you won’t need to leave the house.
Eat well – and not too much!
Another major area you can think about to stay healthy over the holidays is in your eating habits.
We all know that part of the Christmas fun is to eat a ton of food, but maybe don’t eat quite to the excess you normally would.
Think about what you’re eating, be mindful of the flavors and you’ll find you won’t eat as much but enjoy it all nonetheless.
Following on from this, staying hydrated will mean you will feel fuller and help you to avoid drinking some of the more high-calorie drinks such as egg nog.
You can even choose to make the whole family partake in this healthier way of life by choosing healthy food options for Christmas dinner, or choosing to bake or grill food instead of frying it in vats of oil!
If we were to give you one piece of advice, it would be to avoid any type of refined carbs and choose healthy options.
Instead of using the usual stuffing, you could get something healthier and nicer with brown rice.
Replace mashed potatoes with sweet potatoes. And make sure that you have plenty of green vegetables.
Vegetables are more filling than carbs and don’t add too many calories to the meal. Also, stay away from creamy salads or side dishes. Try to avoid anything overly cheesy as well.
A key aspect of staying healthy is exercise.
During the holidays, all of us tend to sit back and relax rather than going out and keeping up our exercise regimes.
Instead, this Christmas, keep that all going by ensuring you work your workout schedule around the holiday plans.
Even better, get your family to join in.
After a meal, why not get the whole family up and out of the house for a walk, even this small amount of exercise will help all of you remain a little fitter during this time.
If it’s too cold outside, know that there are tons of ways that you can stay active at home as well.
And it doesn’t have to feel like exercise either.
Why not gift yourself one of these motion control gaming consoles or a VR headset that will have you and the whole family moving?
Even games like musical chairs can be a great way to burn some extra calories after a big dinner.
Consider Starting Earlier
We know it’s probably a tradition in your household, but you should think twice about getting up at midnight for the celebrations.
This could really throw your sleep cycle out of whack and leave you with a bad hangover.
You could consider starting around 9 or 10 instead. This way, you’ll still be able to recreate the ambiance and get a good night’s sleep.
Prevent Infections and Food Poisoning
While hygiene is at the forefront of the discussion right now, it should always be, and you need to take the steps necessary to make sure that everything is sanitary.
You should consider having a few sanitizer bottles around so that people will be reminded to disinfect their hands.
You should also consider serving the food instead of having a buffet. This way, you’ll be able to control who’s in contact with the food.
Make sure that anyone serving the food is using gloves and that they are changed regularly. If they can’t find gloves, make sure that they sanitize their hands every 15 minutes.
Arrange the seating in a way that people will be able to communicate without directly facing each other. Also make sure that there is good ventilation in the room, even if it means slightly cracking two or more windows open.
When it comes to food, you have to be very careful about how it’s handled. Hot foods should stay in a hot environment in order to be safe or they quickly start to form bacteria.
his is especially true of foods like meats or carbs like rice or pasta.
We assume that you don’t have a professional heating tray at home, so make sure that any hot food stays in the oven at a temperature of at least 140F.
Hot foods should not stay at room temperature for more than two hours. After this period, they either have to be refrigerated or discarded.
Take some time to yourself
Finally, with all the family over, it is important to be able to take some time to yourself.
If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, don’t put your needs before others.
Instead, communicate with your family and take some time off.
Someone else can take a turn at cooking for the day.
You can put your feet up to watch a movie, go for a walk or chat with family and friends if you need the downtime.