We’re all looking forward to Christmas and New Year cheer to give us that end-of-year boost. For many, the thought of presents under the tree and Christmas decorations around the houses are eclipsed by a decadent Christmas dinner spread and spending late evenings out with family and friends while they are near.
We understand the importance of relaxation and seasonal indulgence, especially for those who have had a year of healthy eating and rigid fitness routines. We’ve embraced the inevitable and created the following guide on great ways to get back into shape once the festive season has died down and we are into the new year.
Make realistic resolutions
New Year resolutions are notoriously easy to make and break. This year, give yourself realistic resolutions that you can stick to. Either pick something which matters most or build upon a current healthy eating plan or fitness schedule to see gradual but noticeable improvements through the year.
Take up an exercise class
If you have taken a break from your usual fitness routine over the holidays or you fancy trying something new, ease yourself back into an exercise schedule by enrolling in a flexible class that will cater to your needs. Horder Healthcare provide an extensive variety of exercise sessions that range from fitness for the over 50s and balance and flexibility, to Pilates and circuit training. Click here to find a Horder class near you!
Quit alcohol for a month
If you’ve indulged in a Christmas and New Year tipple, or two, consider giving up drink for a month to allow your body to regain a healthy balance. Studies have shown that abstinence for just one month can have a positive effect. Improvements of blood sugar levels, blood cholesterol, sleep quality, liver fat levels, concentration and weight loss are just some of the benefits that have emerged from various studies.
Cut down on the sugar
Stocked up on sugar-filled Christmas treats for your home? Consider cutting down on your sugar intake after New Year to allow your body to recover! Route through your cupboards to throw out or cut down on high-sugar foods and try to shop exclusively in the fresh grocery aisles for a while. As a rule, if a food packet contains a long list of ingredients, sugar is likely to be a dominant component of the product – check the packet before purchase.
Take it easy
Christmas and New Year can be a source of stress as well as cheer. Expectations are high and family tensions can be too. One of the best ways to get back into a healthy routine is to familiarise yourself with a good night’s sleep and your usual methods of relaxation at home. If you’ve noticed that stress has become an issue, use this quieter time of the year to identify possible stress causes and triggers which you can get help for in the year.
Reassess your diet
If losing weight is on the top of your agenda, it may be time to alter your diet. A common reason for giving up a diet is to avoid those pangs of hunger than can leave us tired and irritable. This can be avoided by switching to low fat, high fibre foods with high water content. Wholegrain foods, lean meat, and low-fat dairy products can be eaten alongside fruit and vegetables to put a stop those feelings of hunger. Watch our video on Smart Snacking for top tips on the benefits of wisely planned snacks throughout the day.
Find other ways to stay social
If your idea of staying in touch with friends is to meet them at the local pub at the weekend, this can become an unhealthy pattern. Break the cycle by trying different activities with your family and friends in your local area or inviting your family and friends to your house for dinner rather than eating out, you can find a whole host of options and inspirational plates in our healthy recipe section.
Stay fit and healthy throughout the year by browsing our Healthy Living area for tips and advice, videos, recipe ideas and guides on how to help common medical issues.