5 ways to keep your health in check this silly season!

We get it, between the end of year parties, family festivities and general holiday mode it’s easy to slip out of your routine and find yourself swearing on a strict health challenge come February. But, we know that you are the product of your habits and just sticking to a few regular practices can help keep you on track. Here are 5 easy ways you can make sure you’re looking after yourself this Christmas:

1. Stay hydrated.

As the temperate rises and you, perhaps, enjoy one more alcoholic beverage than usual at the work Christmas party, it’s paramount to keep your fluids up. Start your day with a glass of water with some fresh lemon juice to aid digestion and to get a good dose of vitamin C. Keep a bottle of water on hand throughout the day, or for some extra tasty hydration make up a jug of fruit-infused sparkling water: try sliced strawberries, mint and cucumber for a refreshing hit. Dehydration can also trick us into feeling hungry so keeping yourself hydrated can prevent overeating too.

2. Make the most of the fresh fruit and veg summer has to offer.

Check out the Australian Seasonal Food Guide for a full list of what’s in season by region.
Want to make something that’s easy and will impress even your most MasterChef-obsessed friends? These are some of our favourite recipes that will most certainly bring you kudos and pack a healthy punch:
Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Portobello Steaks with Avocado Chimichurri
Herbed Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing
Pineapple Bluberry Popsicles
Virgin Ginger Mimosa

3. Maintain good sleep habits.

Whilst the holidays may allow for more sleep-ins, this doesn’t necessarily make for better sleep quality overall. What you eat or drink late at night can disrupt your sleep – in particular, caffeine, or fatty/spicy foods tend to affect a lot of people – so try to leave a 2-3 hour gap between a heavy meal and going to bed. If you’re hungry though have a small snack 45mins before hitting the hay. And sure, alcohol makes you drowsy and may send you into a deep sleep sooner, but it actually disturbs the second phase of your sleep pattern, resulting in increased awakenings. Avoid drinking alcohol 4 hours before you go to bed.

4. Keep moving.

Although your favourite exercise class may now clash with your turkey-basting time, it doesn’t mean you need to give up your daily bout of exercise. Go for a family walk to stave off the afternoon food coma. Download a free exercise app like Daily Yoga and get in a few morning sun salutations – all the programs are less than 30 mins, but if you don’t have that long you can skip postures you don’t want to do. Or, just play some backyard cricket. Remember, movement is exercise, and a little is better than nothing!

5. Connect with what this time of year means to you, whatever that may be.

The festive season has the potential to bring a lot of joy to people,but it can also be a period of high stress and loneliness for others. Reflect on what you have to be grateful for and how you might be able to ease the burden for someone else. Maybe you have a friend or neighbour who doesn’t have family to spend this time with – send them a Christmas card to remind them that you’re thinking of them or invite them to join you for a meal. A new study suggests that happiness depends on health and friends, not money, so what better time to do something nice for yourself and for your loved ones.