It’s easy to get swept up by the holiday season and, while it might be the best time of the year, it isn’t exactly the best for your health.
The holidays are when you really want to look and feel your best, but they’re also riddled with potholes for your health with a few too many Champagne toasts and lazy days spent in the sun.
But what if we told you that you could enjoy the holidays to the fullest without sabotaging your health?
At Episodic, we want you to start the New Year off on the right foot, so here are our top tips for staying healthy and happy this holiday season:
Budget Wisely: It is easy to become over-excited come holiday time, when gifts are abundant, and the shops are laden with goodies begging to be brought home. Set yourself a budget for the holiday season and stick to it to make sure that you don’t overspend and regret it come 2020. With the holiday season being an expensive time for most, make sure your healthcare doesn’t add to your worries. Customise your own Episodic Health quote to take care of your family’s medical needs in the New Year.
Avoid Overeating: Between your year-end function and New Year’s Day, you might find your table groaning under the weight of honey-glazed gammon and brandy-soaked trifle. However, your waistband might also start complaining once 2020 hits. To curb weight-gain during the holidays, take breaks between food helpings, use a smaller plate and don’t go to parties on an empty stomach. Food excesses can also lead to digestive troubles including indigestion and gastroesophageal reflux. The best way to prevent these digestive issues is to eat slowly and leave room for healthier choices.
Healthier Choices: Popular party snacks are often loaded with complex carbohydrates and fats that can wreak havoc on the scale. Choose healthier options for your appetisers such as a crunchy and colourful crudité plate with a hummus or bean dip instead of chips and a cheese-based accompaniment. It is easy to overindulge on unhealthy options when they are readily available, but with approximately 5 million South Africans being pre-diabetic it is wise to watch your sugar, fat and carbohydrate intake.
Hydration is Key: Water is necessary for several bodily functions, including maintaining your cells’ fluids and delivering nutrients. Drink plain or infused H2O as often as you can throughout the day. If you’re drinking cocktails or glasses of wine, alternate each serving with a glass of water in between.
Get Moving: It might seem difficult to schedule workouts between parties, but it is critical to your health that you stay active during the holidays. If you are already active, simply adding in an extra session can help curb weight gain. Besides being good for your overall health, exercise can help you get rid of stress and forget about your worries ahead of the New Year. When spending time with family, opt for a walk between dinner and dessert.
Limit Alcohol Intake: There will be many a time for a toast over the festive season, however, drinking in excess even only once in a while can cause serious health issues in the long run. Women should limit their alcohol intake to two units per day, while men should have three max.
Fly Well: If you are travelling aboard an airplane this holiday, get up and move around to prevent deep-vein thrombosis – the formation of blood clots in your legs that can result from sitting still for long periods. To avoid it, move around the cabin every 60 to 90 minutes. And if you are prone to blood clots, visit any of the Episodic network GPs to talk about getting yourself some compression socks or stockings.
Get an Immune Boost: Make sure you don’t catch an infection from germy airplane trays, sightseeing bus rails and shopping centre aircons by eating a variety of colourful fruits and veggies to bolster your immune system. You can also add a handful of nuts and seeds daily to help fight illness.
Be Sun-Savvy: With the holidays come sun, swimming pools and sea and it’s easy to forget that, as much fun as being outdoors is, it can be detrimental to your health. Be sure to lather on the sunscreen, put on a hat and wear protective clothing when out and about.
Pay Attention to What Really Matters: Although putting your feet up and enjoying food is an integral part of the holidays, this year put the focus on family, friends and laughter. Keep everything in balance and moderation and enjoy a well-deserved rest with those that really matter.
From all of us at Episodic, Happy Holidays!