As the classic Christmas tune goes… “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” However, when it comes to looking after our bodies, Christmas is a time when we can often fall short of our health goals. With the festive season well and truly upon us, at EXPHYS® we continue our focus to help you achieve optimal health in the holidays.
The Four Pillars of Optimal Health
Most appreciate that nutrition and exercise play a key to overall health. However, when considering our lifestyle in a holistic way, it is important to include these four pillars of health[i].
- Mind (Mindfulness/Relaxation)
Now, let’s reveal our tips to keeping each of these pillars in check over the festive season.
Every one of us needs to stop and recharge. It is incredibly important for our health. Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best ways of staying happy and healthy. Poor sleep quality is now considered to be pandemic throughout the world[ii]. Christmas time is no different. As we become busier with social engagements and the pace of the festive season increases, we may pack more into each day and our sleep patterns ultimately suffer.
EXPHYS®’ tips for optimal sleep in the holidays:
- Have a regular sleep pattern. Establish a regular bedtime and awakening routine. This repetition will train your body and brain.
- Create a good sleeping environment. You cannot make yourself fall asleep. However, you can create the right conditions for sleep. Keep the bedroom dark and quiet and remember to switch off from your phone, laptop and TV.
Many of us can relate to loosening the belt buckle over the Christmas period. It’s one time of the year that even the most focused of us may relax about what we eat and drink. Mostly because there is a wonderful array of temping, not so nutritious, food and beverages around at this time of the year! Good nutrition is important to promote overall health and can still be maintained during the festive period[iii]. It is important to strike a balance between both letting go and enjoying ourselves, but without opening the flood gates.
EXPHYS®’ tips to keep nutrition in check this festive season:
- Fill half your plate with fruit and vegetables. Take advantage of all the delicious summer fruits and salads that come with the warmer weather.
- Alternate your drinks. Alternate one alcoholic drink with one non-alcoholic drink, ideally water.
Regular exercise is essential. But once the festive season celebrations begin, it is all too easy to swap an after work gym session with an after work drinks session. The interference with your usual routine makes it very difficult to stay motivated and keep exercise a priority.
EXPHYS®’ tips to keep exercise on track include:
- Change you exercise goals. This helps you to keep motivated.
- Change your normal exercise routine to fun inclusive activities for the whole family. A game of backyard cricket with the kids, or a swim at the beach keeps you active while enjoying the essence of what this season has to offer.
Relaxation is likely the most undervalued component of health. It is something we tend to fit in when we’ve done everything else. But unfortunately for many of us we never finish our to-do list. It is important we spend time over the festive season recharging the brain’s batteries and pressing the ‘stop’ button.
EXPHYS®’ tips to help you relax these holidays are:
- Sit down and read that book you have always wanted to, or catch a movie.
- Enjoy the outdoors, whether it be in your garden, at a local park or on a bush walk.
Whether it’s fun out in the sun or staying home with family and friends, EXPHYS® wish all our customers and clients a very happy and healthy festive season. We hope it’s filled with quality sleep, good nutrition, plenty of exercise and loads of relaxation.
EXPHYS® programs holistically incorporate all four pillars of health. Review our health programs or call us on 1800 EXPHYS (397 497).
[i] The 4 Pillar Plan: How to Relax, Eat, Move and Sleep Your Way to a Longer, Healthier Life; Rangan Chatterjee
By Lauren Reynolds | Operations Manager, Exercise Physiologist | EXPHYS®