Hands up who forgot all about leading a healthy lifestyle this Christmas?! If this is you, don’t worry as help is at hand. As a new year has just begun, I look at ways in which you can work off all the excesses of Christmas. So follow my guide here:
Gaining weight at Christmas
Now the last thing I want is to feel guilty about the weight I’m gaining during the festive period. So, at Christmas, I will happily tuck into all manner of desserts! Not forgetting all the different cheese available either… Yes, these are my two favourite areas of indulgence! I must admit that leading a healthy lifestyle can be the last thing on my mind at the end of a year.
Research suggests you only put on a couple of pounds over the festive season but I’ve revisited my scales this week and can safely say I’ve put on a lot more! But I’ve also had a lovely, long relaxing break, so I’m feeling good. I’m actually a big fan of leading a healthy lifestyle at every other time of the year. So, this way I can work it off gradually, which you can do, too!
There are no quick fixes
Even if you instantly start eating more healthily and get down to your gym to slog your guts out, there is no quick fix. After all, it’s so much easier to put on weight than lose it! But you will begin to feel so much better mentally, which will help you on your battle with your new post-Christmas bulge.
Don’t forget, you are not alone! I can safely say I don’t know anyone who hasn’t over-indulged these past few weeks. This tends to be why so many people join the gym at the start of a new year. However, some will go along for a month or so, then they may pack it all in.
What does a healthy lifestyle really mean?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), they define it as a ‘state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’. So, you may not get there overnight but you can consider your goals more carefully. In fact, leading a healthy lifestyle could become your New Year’s resolution.
You may already know you should aim for at least 30 minutes’ exercise every day. Now, for those of you, like me who tend to sit at a desk on a computer all day, this can seem daunting. But that’s why I spend at least 40 mins on a brisk lunchtime walk. I find walking in my local park is a great way in which to wipe all those cobwebs away! In fact, the husband and I enjoy a good walk together on a weekend. However, I suggest you keep to a good pace as this is the best way in which you’ll raise your heart rate, burn more calories and ultimately feel good.
Adding regular exercise to your routine is definitely one of my top tips to help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. You’ll also find you’ll sleep better and this can help to lower stress. In fact, it’s a great way in which to control your blood pressure and cholesterol, too.
Choose your exercise plan carefully
Now, if the thought of walking fills you with dread, there are plenty of other exercise plans, which could interest you. I go to Pilates and tend to use the reformer machines, which I love, and have just taken up tennis at a local gym. I even enjoy dancing when I get the chance, too. The husband, on the other hand, absolutely loves running and cycling. So, it just goes to show, there’s something for everyone. In fact, if you choose the right exercise regime for you, you’ll be less likely to lose all enthusiasm as spring approaches.
Healthy lifestyle = healthy diet
There is no doubt that you are what you eat and, right now, I’d say I’m a cross between a yule log and a stilton and cranberry cheese! Yes, those two foods were definitely two of my favourites this Christmas… Now, of course you can eat a little of what you like. However, if you’re anything like me, you won’t know how to digest this sort of food in moderation!
In fact, a healthy lifestyle and, therefore, diet tends to mean eating more fruit and vegetables. Did you know these should form one third of your diet every day? These will certainly help you to lose excess weight and you can find out more here.
Drinking less alcohol should be high on your agenda, too. Now this isn’t that hard for me as I’ve never been a big drinker. Instead, I tend to crave sugar-filled foods, which I try to replace with fruits, such as raspberries and blueberries. However, for those of you who like a drink but want to live more healthily, you’ll find if you take a month off from the booze, you’ll sleep and concentrate better, and improve your energy levels.
Let’s be social
No, I don’t mean social media! It’s time to think about your social life and make improvements as this is such an important part of a healthy lifestyle. I know only too well how you can get bogged down with a busy work schedule. After all, it’s so easy to live to work. But that’s why I ‘shut up shop’ for two weeks at Christmas, spent many golden moments with my family and feel so much better for it.
In fact, these days, the husband and I ensure we make time for friends, and relax and unwind. This will help to improve your mental health too, so you can cope with daily life, free from too much stress and anxiety.