Christmas is finally here, which for many of us means too much food, drink and/or time on the sofa. However, follow the BESTFIT guide and you’ll be ready to start 2020 with a bang…
BATTLE AGAINST FATIGUE AS YOU PARTY HARD
First things first, you might be off work but get yourself out of bed in the morning and avoid the temptation to hit the snooze button. Snoozing confuses your body and brain in to thinking that the sleep cycle needs to restart, so get yourself up and start the day with a healthy and nutritious breakfast. Make sure you steer clear of sugary cereals, which will give you a short-term boost but offer little in the way of long-term benefits. Keep that motivation and focus throughout the day, and take regular breaks from your screen. It’s tempting to watch your Facebook/Instagram/Twitter feeds around Christmas, but give your brain a rest. Swap coffee for green tea, and naughty treats – like chocolates – for regular healthy snacks. Think unsalted nuts for protein. Do 30 minutes of exercise a day for mental and cognitive health.
ENTER AN EVENT IN THE NEW YEAR
Give yourself a target event to aim for in the New Year, which should keep you occupied through the holiday season. That will ensure that your fitness focus doesn’t disappear entirely as Santa prepares to head down the chimney.
REBOOT AND PROTECT YOURSELF FROM COLD AND FLU
The pressures of work and the fact you’re often arriving and leaving the office in the dark means that winter can be tough on you and your immune system. Try some tea tree aromatherapy oil for its antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, insect repellent, cleansing, and purifying properties. Also consider some Omega-3, which helps boost your immune system and fight infections, and is prevalent in Wild Alaskan Fish Oil.
WATCH A CLASSIC
There are few things more uplifting than a Christmas TV classic or flick, so go old school and snap up a copy of the Radio Times to find out if any crackers are hitting the screens this yuletide. Think Only Fools and Horses, the Two Ronnies and Fawlty Towers, or Arthur Christmas, the Polar Express, Home Alone or Die Hard.
Anyone who has seen Bridget Jones will appreciate the sheer wonder of the festive jumper. Whether it’s a reindeer or Santa himself adorning the front, you’re guaranteed to raise a smile regardless of whether you’re walking into the nearest pub for a festive sherbet or the gym to work off the excesses of the office Christmas party. Heck, you can even get festive technical gear, too. Try readbearsports.co.uk
STAY HYDRATED (WITHOUT JUST DRINKING WATER)
Drinking enough water is an essential part of staying fit and healthy but don’t OD on H2O, be imaginative. Get yourself some Chilean easy peeler mandarins and clementines – both of which are great at this time of year and both of which are made up of 87% water. Winter stews, yoghurts and soups will also help you hit your hydration targets.
BOOK AN ACTIVE HOLIDAY IN 2020
The dark months that lay in wait after Christmas can seem to stretch out endlessly, so give yourself something to look forward to and book yourself an imaginative holiday. Try facial gymnastics in Italy, laughter therapy in India or ‘Spoga’– a mix of spinning and yoga – in idyllic St Lucia. There’s something for everyone out there – so start exploring.
PROTECT YOUR LIVER
Your liver is an essential tool in maintaining your health, so look after it, particularly at Christmas when your booze intake is likely to increase. Increase your fibre intake by eating foods like broccoli, Brussel sports, avocados and kale. Ditch the English breakfast tea for green tea, which is full of catechins – an antioxidant that encourages healthy liver function. Add a bit of turmeric to your life too, your liver will thank you for it.
GO FOR A DIP
Going for a swim might not be everyone’s idea of how to spend Christmas morning but there are plenty who swear by it. “I guess people feel more compelled to do it at this time of year because of the festive spirit,” explains Lynne Roper, Outdoor Swimming Society. “It’s a case of stripping off and doing it wherever you happen to be. It’s a recurring Christmas theme.” So what are you waiting for?
TAKE 5 MINUTES EACH MORNING FOR BETTER WELLNESS
It’s too easy to bolt out of the door in the morning, so slow everything down and just take five minutes to shape a routine that won’t simply change your day but could also change your life. Use the time to focus on your goals and clear your mind of clutter before starting your day in a relaxed and positive mood.
HEALTHY RECIPE BOX
If you think you’ll struggle to juggle work, family and a healthy diet over Christmas, then put the latter in the hands of a company designed to provide just that. There are plenty of options out there for people looking for a helping hand in the kitchen, with many firms now able to provide you with recipes and produce that will ensure you eat nutrient-packed food as part of a balanced diet.
BOOST THE IMMUNE SYSTEM WITH VITAMIN D
If you buy one supplement this winter, make sure it’s vitamin D. The government recommends that everyone should take a vitamin D supplement during the autumn and winter months and the experts agree. Use an oral spray rather than the tablet form, as research suggests it’s 2.5 times more effective.
USE YOUR LEFTOVERS FOR HEALTHY MEALS
The chances are you’ll eat more than usual this Christmas but make sure that this increase doesn’t lead to greater waste. Victoria Glass of Too Good To Waste, has some brilliant suggestions on how to maximise your food, including melting down marrow from bones to produce bone marrow toffee or using chicken leftovers to create a chicken leg ballotine stuffed with liver. Innovative and delicious.
READ A BOOK
Step away from your phone for a second and read something that might actually improve your life. Yep, reading a book is far more beneficial than finding out what your mate had for tea. The Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation will help reduce the stress in your life, while the Runner’s Cookbook will give you food for thought, and over 100 recipes to help you refuel. For mindfulness, try Suzy Reading’s The Self-Care Revolution, which acts as a toolkit when times get tough, or Five Minutes in the Morning, a journal to help you focus on what’s important.
GET A PROTEIN ADVENT CALENDAR
Ditch the chocolate advent calendar and get yourself one with a difference, with a protein advent calendar that offers some of the best protein products on the market.
EMBRACE A WINTER SPORT
It can be hard to get yourself motivated to go for a run or a cycle when there’s frost on the ground and snow in the air. So don’t bother. Instead, go and throw yourself into a sport designed to played in the winter months. Whether that’s skiing at your local dry ski slope or grabbing yourself a set of ice skates in a bid to recreate the magic of Torvill and Dean at the 1984 Olympics. Not only are winter sports great fun, they’re also a brilliant way of maintaining your fitness.