Seven ways to stay healthy over the festive season
By Lisa O’Neill
If we start in the way we mean to finish, the Bodies by Ryan Christmas party indicated this festive season is going to be one heck of a good time. While we are all for celebrating, having a couple of drinks, ripping up the dance floor and maybe even losing a shirt in the process (cough, Max) – we want to enter 2019 feeling as fit and healthy as we have at BBR the rest of the year, am I right?
So, without turning into the Christmas Grinch, there are things we can do to maintain some balance this December and January. Here are some of our best health and wellness practices to stock your toolkit with so you can be merry and bright all season long and not resemble the plum pudding by the time 2019 rolls in.
- Maintain your exercise routine – Ok, so at this time of year maybe you won’t make five from five HIIT sessions each week but it’s important to schedule in some key sessions that you attend no matter what. Maintaining fitness will not only keep your metabolism firing, it’s also really important for stress levels at a time of year when emotions ride high. If you’re away over this time, try some other gyms or a new challenge like yoga to keep the body ticking over and primed for returning to BBR in the New Year.
- Prioritise quality sleep – While there may be some late nights on the horizon with more social functions than normal, maintaining a good sleep routine as a rule means you’ll cope with the occasional night’s out. Like Ryan and Ayrton have told us, quality sleep is imperative to muscle growth and feeling vibrant. Prioritise eight-hours sleep during your nights in and stick to a regular sleep schedule (going to bed and waking at the same time) as often as possible.
- More veggies at home – When more alcohol is being consumed and less than desirable food options surrounding us, pump up the veggie content of the meals you prepare. Be super mindful at home by preparing typical BBR foods with good protein and plenty of vegetables so you’re nourishing your body with the vitamins and minerals that might be harder to come by at your work’s Christmas barbecue. So perhaps instead of the usual oats, consider an omelette filled with veggies or a green smoothie on party days. Eat some chopped veggies before the party so you don’t arrive starving and ready to devour all the mini sausage rolls.
- Make time to meditate - Even for the most zen of us, Christmas seems to heighten emotions (even the good ones). Calming your overused nervous system can be done with just five minutes of meditation or focused breath (refer to our Breathe blog for more details on this). Try some guided meditations on apps like Insight Timer or Headspace if you’re new to meditation or if it really isn’t your thing, do something that brings you some peace whether it’s a walk along the beach, reading or doing a crossword with your morning cup of coffee.
- You can say no – Have some boundaries around your time. You don’t need to attend every function or make homemade mince pies for every function you do attend. Prioritise the most important parties of the season and work out what is manageable for you. Will you really enjoy attending a breakfast, lunch and dinner in one day? What are the outcomes on your health be if you do four nights out in a row? You won’t add value to the functions you attend if you’re exhausted and not taking care of yourself, so set your boundaries to how many events you can attend in a day or week then you can consciously say yes or no based on those numbers.
- Nail your morning after – There will be nights where we do party a little hard and you’ve earned them, but do yourself a big favour and avoid the typical hangover food the next morning. Eat a balanced breakfast of fats, protein and carbohydrate to re-nourish your body (think poached eggs and avocado on sourdough) and before you dive into a jug of coffee, rehydrate with extra water to combat the dehydration caused by alcohol.
- Set your goals – Most of us will have some time off work providing the perfect space to dream up what 2019 will look like for you. It’s the ideal time to set some big goals, break them down into small, realistic steps and burst into 2019 ahead of the pack. See you on the winner’s podium of BBR’s 30-Day Challenge, you life-winning ninja.
How do you stay healthy over December and January? Learning how to SUP? Chasing the kids around the park? Share what you’re up to in the comments, legends.