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4 health and wellness tips to keep in mind this festive season

It’s easy to lose sight of your health and fitness goals when you’re travelling and on holiday during the “silly season”, but doing so only makes it harder to get back into your healthy routines in the New Year.

Don’t let all your fitness gains slip away. There are plenty of ways to stay focused and retain all the hard work you’ve done throughout the year while enjoying a well-deserved break.

Avoid overindulging

All those celebratory parties can be the death of your good-eating intentions. After all, who can resist Aunt Martha’s famous pudding or the never-ending flow of cocktails and Champagne at this time of year?

Try to stay mindful of how much you eat and drink. As far as possible, try to load your plate with salad or vegetable options, so you’re less inclined to overdo it on oily, sugary temptations.

Keeping your glass charged with mineral water or low-sugar fruit juice makes it easier to avoid the attention of heavy-handed hosts too.

If you’re invited out to eat at a restaurant, there are bound to be healthy options on the menu.

Instead of a greasy burger or pizza, opt for a yummy grilled chicken or fish dish, or head straight to the salad section for something refreshing.

Remember, it’s much harder to wean yourself off of bad eating habits than it is to avoid temptation in the first place.

Get enough rest

Late nights are inevitable during party season, but that doesn’t mean you should go without the sleep you need. Without work to worry about, there’s no reason to get up at the crack of dawn.

Move your usual morning exercise session out by an hour or two or train in the late afternoon.

That way, you’re less likely to succumb to heat exhaustion, and it will help energise you for evening festivities.

If you're a runner, you could replace your usual outdoor jogs with another activity that’s safe to enjoy during the heat of the day. Indoor sports like squash are a good option, or you can go for a swim in an indoor pool.

However, if you feel you can’t start your day without pounding the pavement, it’s a good idea to squeeze in an afternoon nap to ensure your body has time to refresh after a late night.

Stick to good habits

As far as possible, try to stick to your regular morning wellness routine without sucking all the joy out of your time off. It’s easy to get side-tracked once the day gets underway.

Boost your energy levels with your usual healthy breakfast and remember to take your vitamins or supplements as you do throughout the year. When you get off to a good start, it’s easier to stay in a healthy mindset, no matter what the day brings.

Make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day by investing in a refillable water bottle and keeping it close at hand.

When travelling in foreign countries or even visiting another province, playing tourist means that you’ll often be out and about when hunger strikes.

Get into the habit of carrying a few healthy snacks, such as a protein bar, protein shake, or fruit, in your handbag or backpack. That way, you’ll be sure to have a nutritious snack on hand until you make it to your next meal.

Balance is the key

It’s easy to think of health and fitness as the boring route when everyone else is throwing caution to the wind during the holidays.

Don’t fall into this trap – by staying mindful of what you're eating and doing and choosing the healthier route when you can, you'll survive the festive season without too much impact on your hard-earned fitness.

But remember to still have fun and enjoy yourself – life is all about balance, after all.

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