Five steps to a healthy ChristmasNews /
Who wants to think about healthy eating and exercise at Christmas? It’s a time of slothful eating and inactivity. Our years' worth of hard work gives us an inalienable right to solder ourselves to the sofa for a week or two... or so we think.
Many of us follow what seem to be standard Australian festive season protocols: gorging on food and drink till our bellies bulge. It’s not until mid-January or February that a guilt-driven urge sends us hurtling towards the latest health craze.
Isn’t there a better way?
Well, yes, and here it is. These steps can help make your holiday healthy.
Rubba dub dub
What are you rubbing into that ham or turkey?
Don't forget that salt can send your blood pressure skywards so beware. But don't worry about how you're going to flavour your food. These herbs and spices can replace added salt. They'll give you delicious flavours that you won't get from salt alone.
Emulate your heroes
Get out the bat and ball. Many Australians spend the summer watching cricket from the couch. But why just watch it when you can play it too? Cricket is the only sport that regularly stops for drinks breaks as well as lunch and afternoon tea. Take advantage of this and get outside and play it yourself.
You just need a bat and ball. Bins, plants and shrubs can give you extra fielders if there's only a few of you playing. And even if you're stuck for space, a game of French Cricket might be the way to go.
Not a cricket lover?
It doesn't matter what you love sports-wise. Just get a ball you can kick or throw and find a space where you can't break anything. voila, you're done.
And remember to stay hydrated - water is always the drink of choice.
Have an active holiday
Where are you going for your summer holiday? If you plan to lounge by the pool, make sure you dive into it from time to time. Or you can get out for a solid 30-minute walk and promenade along the street or beach front. Remember, more is better, but even a 10-minute walk is a step in the right direction towards keeping your heart healthy.
Not everyone gets a break at this time of year – or wants one for that matter. If you're one of these people, you'll find your commute easier. Your trips will be blissfully shorter, which gives you a little extra time to get in some activity.
If you use the train, tram or bus, get off and walk the extra distance to walk. Even in the office, don’t take the lifts, use the stairs instead. Research shows that keeping active makes you more productive, so it's win-win for you and your boss.
Switch your focus
For many years we've focused on how much sugar, fat and salt we eat. But now it's time to change your thinking. These five tips will get you on the healthy eating track and keep you there:
- Plenty of fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals
- Variety of healthy protein sources including fish and seafood, lean meat and poultry, legumes, nuts and seeds
- Reduced fat dairy such as unflavoured milk and yoghurt, and cheese
- Healthy fat choices with nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking
- Herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt.
*Water is always the drink of choice.