Eat Drink and be merry – a Holistic approach to the excesses of Christmas
Christmas comes but once a year and when it does it brings lots of nice gifts, nights out and good times with family and friends (if you’re lucky). If you’re unlucky, it’s a season that can bring lots of stress, which is bad for your health and your chances of having a good time.
The Christmas aftermath can be worse as you attempt to deal with the effects of too much alcohol, festive feasts and late nights. Over-indulge and you could end up ill, overweight or out of shape (or more so) and stuck with a year’s health club membership you bought out of guilt and may never use.
The list of suggestions below may help you go some way to enjoying this Christmas without quite as much of the usual stress and hangovers. Anyone not interested in keeping in shape can stop reading now (if you made it this far).
Instead of using Christmas as an excuse to eat chocolate for the whole of December (chocolate frenzy), how about STRATEGICALLY indulging yourself by picking certain days where you go for it i.e. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day? You could then aim to exercise restraint for the rest of the festive period (crazy idea I know, but you could try).
Many people indulge themselves throughout the year anyway, so using Christmas as a reason to ‘treat’ yourself is actually using it as an excuse to eat and drink even more stuff you know is bad for your health and body.
Start a fitness program BEFORE the New Year rather than after it i.e. NOW! Everybody on the planet (plus their Grandmother and their dog) drags themselves to the nearest gym or fitness centre on January 2nd in a desperate attempt to fulfil their New Year’s Resolution to ‘get in shape’.
By making your health kick an ‘Old Year’s Resolution’ you give yourself time to get into a routine and you’ll then be more inclined to keep it going in the New Year. You’ll also go a long way to limiting the damage you could do to yourself with all that Xmas partying.
Drink plenty of water after a boozy night out. Re-hydrate yourself and limit the impact of a hangover the next day. Anything from a pint to a litre would be good. It all depends on how much you can manage before passing out. (But don’t over do it because it could be dangerous! See the Healthy Life article Too much water may be bad for your health)
Enjoy your Christmas meal with all the trimmings as it does only come round once a year. If you want to watch what you eat during the rest of the season, then do your best to avoid processed, convenience and snack foods and anything that’s high in salt and sugar (e.g. most of the stuff you’re offered at Christmas).
If you’re entertaining this year, leave NOTHING to the last minute. Sit down and plan your Christmas Day as early as possible. The better your plan, the less stressful it’ll all be. Having said that, always expect the unexpected as we all know what can happen to the best laid plans of mice and men.
Don’t over-extend yourself and accept invites to every party, works do or night out. Choose the ones you really fancy and focus on being a party animal on those occasions. Spread yourself too thin and you could be ill for the all-important Christmas week (flu or alcohol poisoning anyone?).
It can be stressful buying gifts for loved ones when you’ve no idea what they want. Why not just ask them? They could give you a selection of ideas to choose from. Whilst this means they won’t be completely surprised with their gift, they will at least have something they want. Psst! I’ve heard that sessions with a Chek Practitioner are the trendy Christmas gift this year.
How about offering the olive branch to someone in your family or a good friend you’ve fallen out with? They may not take it, but you’ll have done your bit. This is easily the hardest suggestion to attempt, but in terms of stress reduction and the good feeling you could get it’s by far the best.
RAMIS Health & Fitness, Westcliff near Southend-on-Sea