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Tips for healthy Christmas season

The Christmas break should be a relaxing time for recharging our batteries, not a time of poor health choices and bad habits. Maximize the holidays by making your health and safety a priority. Get your strategies in place to cope with festive temptation and have a happy, healthy Christmas.

Control your portions: Do not eat everything at feasts and parties. Be choosy and spend calories judiciously on the foods you love.

Choose dishes with lots of vegetables: Instead of eating heavy meals full of meat and pastries, take small portions of these foods and fill your plates with fruits and vegetables instead. This will help avoid heaviness and ensure you eat healthy.

Limit your alcohol intake: There are numerous occasions to raise a glass with family and friends during the holidays. However, drinking to excess, even if it’s only occasionally, can cause serious damage. Women should limit their alcohol consumption to 2 glasses a day and men to 3.

Go for a walk after a big meal: This will help in burning down the food into calories and will prevent heaviness.

Simplify your exercise routine: Christmas do come with lots of laxity, instead of skipping your routine exercise, you can instead simplify it by doing it indoors.

Wash hands often to help prevent the spread of germs: Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds regularly to avoid spread of germs.

Manage stress: Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and out of control. Some of the best ways to manage stress are to find support, connect socially, and get plenty of sleep.

Do not drink and drive or let others drink and drive: Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same.

Be smoke-free: Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke. Smokers have greater health risks because of their tobacco use, but non-smokers also are at risk when exposed to tobacco smoke.

Fasten seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle: Always buckle your children in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to their height, weight, and age. Buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip and encourage passengers to do the same.

Monitor children: Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, and other objects out of children’s reach. Protect them from drowning, burns, falls, and other potential accidents.

Prepare food safely: Remember these simple steps: Wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures and refrigerate foods promptly.

Key takeaways: Staying healthy over the Christmas break doesn’t happen by itself – it takes planning, determination and follow-through on personal goals.

Keep your exercise routine simple but consistent during the festive season; create a home workout that you can stick to every day.

Christmas means more alcohol-fuelled parties than normal, so pace yourself; drinking plenty of water will help you counteract the dehydrating effects of booze.

Christmas celebrations can play havoc with your sleep patterns, so try to keep on top of your sleep routine.


Dr Ade Alakija

Q-Life Advisory Services

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