The warmer weather is well and truly here and Christmas is fast approaching. With Christmas on the horizon so are the parties, indulging, overeating and running around like a headless chicken. On average, Australians gain 0.8-1.5kg over the Christmas period. It might not sound like much but researchers have identified that weight gained over the holidays is rarely lost.
Here are five tips to help you stay healthy over the Christmas period.

It is important to keep up with your exercise routine as staying active will help you feel better. Try and exercise outside as much as possible and take advantage of the bright sunny summer days! If a run is too much, how about calling a friend and taking a brisk walk around the park?

As much as Christmas is a great time to catch up with family and friends, remember to take some time out for yourself. Take a few moments in the day to practice meditation or stress-relieving breathing techniques. Plan your shopping in advance, write a list of all the presents you need to buy and avoid the frenzied crowds.

Try to make healthier choices this Christmas. It’s quite easy to get carried away with all the puddings, chocolates, shortbreads and party foods, but before over-indulging remember how it’s going to make you feel the next day. Foods to enjoy can include veggie sticks, pretzels rice crackers, low fat dips, sushi, and fruit salad. Foods we should limit can include creamy dips, pies, sausage rolls, chips, lollies, chocolates and cakes.

Remember to drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated. If you enjoy having an alcoholic beverage, remember to alternate every drink with a glass of water and don’t drink on an empty stomach.

Over the Christmas period your internal clock will be making it extra difficult for you to wake up. If you haven’t got enough sleep the night before, waking up will be nearly impossible. Make sure you continue with your normal bedtime routine and aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

Remember that your health is not determined by what you do during the Christmas period, but by what you do most of the time. Be as healthy as you can this Christmas and use the above tips to keep stress to a minimum as it can be as bad for your health as sugar.

What’s in your heart is more important that what’s on your plate.

Merry Christmas!