What a year 2020 has been! We certainly deserve a good Christmas so that we can enjoy the festivities and have a much-needed break with our families. It will be tempting to go overboard even more so than normal this year but the last thing you want is to start 2021 feeling sluggish and unhealthy! With our Christmas survival guide you can enjoy all the festivities and still keep your health and fitness on track.
Firstly, plan ahead. Start stocking up with things in advance. If you leave everything to the last minute, you will end up frazzled and stressed. Write the Christmas cards and have the presents wrapped well ahead of time so that you can relax and enjoy Christmas rather than frantically trying to get everything done in the last few days. It’s a good idea to have a couple of extra small presents wrapped just in case you receive an unexpected gift.
We all have this idea of the ‘perfect Christmas’ but don’t set your expectations too high or you could be disappointed. Spending time with family and friends and having fun is far more important than having perfectly wrapped, expensive presents and the perfect table setting. If things don’t go to plan, it’s not the end of the world.
Make sure to take some time for you over this very busy period! This is so important. You are so busy buying and wrapping presents, writing, and posting cards, trimming up the house, planning, buying, and preparing all the food that you can easily get to Christmas Day and feel exhausted. We know that it’s difficult, when there’s so much to do, to justify time for yourself, but you need to see it as being just as important as all the other things that you have to do. Try relaxing with a good book or a Christmas film, taking a long hot bubble bath, ringing a friend for a catch-up chat, going for a long walk or doing 30 minutes exercise. Yes, exercise! This is a great stress buster and, it also improves mental health by reducing stress and anxiety. Do anything that gives you time for you and makes you feel happy and relaxed. Remember to get other members of the family to pitch in with all the chores too. You don’t have to do everything yourself.
On Christmas day itself, remember to pace yourself with food and alcohol. You don’t have to eat the whole box of chocolates and mince pies in one day. Moderation is key. Certainly, indulge and enjoy but mix with healthy options too. And ditch the guilt!
Have a substantial breakfast – our favourite is scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and a glass of bucks fizz! This should keep you going through to dinner, unless you are eating very late, in which case, have a light, healthy snack such as homemade soup, or a salad with some fish or duck.
When it comes to the big event, enjoy your Christmas dinner. Pile your plate with veggies and turkey, goose or duck, and yes, you can have the pigs in blankets, stuffing and roast potatoes – just be mindful of how much you are eating. You can have it all and not feel so full that you feel ill at the end of it. There’s nothing worse than feeling so uncomfortably full that you don’t want to move. Also, a little bit of everything means that you don’t feel like you are missing out.
Watch how much alcohol you are drinking. You’ll feel so much better on Boxing Day if you have a couple of glasses or wine or prosecco with your dinner rather than drinking continually throughout the day. It’s important to drink plenty of water today as this will help banish a would-be hangover as well as keeping the nibbles at bay.
After dinner, it’s traditionally time to play games in our house, so try to pick games that get you moving, even if it’s only standing up and sitting down such as charades or Santa Limbo (tie a cushion to your middle for Santa’s belly!). If the weather allows, maybe all go for a long walk to get yourselves moving – plus, just getting outside makes you feel so much fresher! Try to keep active and moving throughout the holidays and it will make your return to the gym that much easier.
Try to pick healthy snacks alongside the chocolate for when you are back home snuggled up in front of the television and be mindful of how many you are eating.
Remember, relax, enjoy and indulge (a little!). Eat, drink and be merry, just make sure to keep hydrated, keep moving and to get enough sleep.
Have a very happy Christmas!
Caroline & Hannah xx