10 ways to get healthy before Christmas (Guest Post)

The summer’s barely over, but the selection boxes and family-sized tubs of Quality Street are already on the supermarket shelves. So, in preparation for all those extra calories and festive excesses, get a head start by shaping up for Santa.

Get to the gym
Nearly three in 10 women and four in 10 men in England are overweight – check out the BMI calculator on www.nhs.uk to see where you stand. And if you’re overweight, there’s still time to take action before you need to pop on the party clothes.

Cut back on the booze
Recommended maximum alcohol intake is 21 units per week for men and 14 units per week for women – and many of us go overboard during this time, so give your liver a rest and cut back in the run up to December.

Stop Smoking
Yes, yes, we know it’s the ‘social smoking’ season, but you can still be sociable without the tar! E-cigarettes offer the satisfaction without the same amount of toxins as regular cigarettes. For a range of exciting flavours from coffee to blueberry, and crazy caramel to gummy bears, visit http://phoenixeliquid.co.uk/

Move more – everyday
Make the most of the daily opportunities to exercise: take the stairs; get off the bus a stop early; or walk your dog (or borrow a neighbour’s if you don’t have your own).

Eat less
Prepare for the inevitable over-indulgence by cutting back on the calories in the run up to Christmas. A woman’s recommended daily calorie intake is 2,000 (source: NHS). For a man this is 2,500. To put this into context, www.huffingtonpost.co.uk highlights how it’s easy to consume up to a whopping 8,000 calories on Christmas Day alone!

Cut back on salt and fat
These are often the hidden ingredients of party food, so cut back in advance – look out for added, artificial ingredients and don’t add salt to your food. Remember, salt and fat are in many day to day foods, including bread, cereals and pizza, and you may not even know they’re there.

Get 5 a day!
Grapes in wine and chocolate-dipped strawberries don’t count! At least five portions of fruit and veg every day – this is a habit worth keeping all year round.

Chill out
Easier said than done, especially at Christmas, which is widely reported as one of the most stressful times of the year! Maybe it’s the cost, the demanding social schedule or the intense, prolonged time with your nearest and dearest. Whatever the cause, check out the special guide to reducing festive stress at www.stress.org.uk

Sleep easy
Sleep is essential to recharge your batteries, re-adjusting your body clock and keeping you energised, but too much or too little sleep could be the sign of an underlying problem. If bedtime is not a relaxing time, you may want to contact one of the UK’s sleep centres – find your nearest at via sleepsociety.org.uk.

Have fun!!!
Most importantly, have fun! Christmas should be a time to enjoy yourself and relax, so who cares if you’re carrying a few extra pounds?

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