Surviving the silly season: tips to remain healthy over the Christmas period

I cannot believe that Christmas is only a month away! This year has brought many challenges, and will continue to do so with the aptly named ‘silly season’ – the festive time of year when there is typically a higher than usual number of social engagements involving lots of indulgent food and drink. During this period, we also tend to have less time to fit in our regular exercise. It becomes less of a priority when we have presents to buy, gatherings to attend or organise, and people to see. Below are some tips on how to remain healthy over Christmas whilst still ensuring we enjoy the festive season.

Heading into Christmas, our social calendars become pretty full, which often leaves less and less time to get our ’30 minutes a day’. I find that using a diary or calendar to plan out my weeks ensures that I can identify times when I can perform my daily exercise. For example, on days where I have Christmas parties/functions, I try to wake up a little earlier and do my daily exercise in the morning because I know that I won’t be motivated to do it after a few hours of eating rich foods.

At the start of each week, mark in each event, then mark in your exercise so that you know that you’ll have the time to do it.

Christmas is a time when we start catching up with family and friends who we may not see regularly throughout the year. Where possible, try to make these social catch-ups ‘active’. It could be as simple as asking to go for a walk/hike together instead of catching up over a meal or even choosing to stand up at a function rather than sitting for prolonged periods.

At the start of each week, mark in each event, then mark in your exercise so that you know that you’ll have the time to do it.

Remember that it is okay to treat yourself sometimes! Having a couple of drinks or nibbles on one occasion is not going to impact your healthy lifestyle. If you are worried about over-indulging, below are some tips

Christmas is a busy time, but it is still important to allow your body to rest. Ensure you are still having adequate sleep and take a rest day from exercise at least 1x per week (or more if you are feeling particularly tired). Fatigue increases the risk of illness and injury so allow yourself to take a break.

If you are still finding it hard to fit in exercise with your busy schedule, remember: any exercise is better than nothing! You may not be as physically active as you are during other times of the year, but fitting in some exercise will still benefit your physical and mental wellbeing.

I hope you find these tips helpful in surviving the silly season and staying on track (most of the time) towards your health goals. It is also important to enjoy yourself!

I wish to thank all of our members for continuing to support us this year despite the tumultuous times, especially those who read these blogs.