Keeping fit this Christmas

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Keeping fit this Christmas
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ stocksolutions

From those final weeks in December, to those first few days of January, the festive period is an onslaught of parties and merriments.

There’s no better excuse to spend time with family and friends, though this usually culminates in lavish amounts of food and drink in place of restraint and exercise.

Though dieting and rigorous exercise over Christmas might seem absurd to most, the idea of entirely abandoning healthy eating and your usual workout is equally as extreme.

Science shows that so often what we think of as hunger pangs are in fact our bodies calling out in thirst. Yes, that twitch of hunger you feel might in fact just be the need to hydrate. Although the jury is still out on quite how much water one needs to drink a day, it’s best to keep topping yourself up.

In terms of healthy eating, it’s better to practice moderation that annexing festive food from your plate. The typical Christmas dinner is, by and large, a pretty healthy plateful of food. Turkey is a low-fat and high-protein meat, while all those veggie trimmings are packed with goodness and minerals. We can’t vouch for the national value of pigs in blankets, mind you.

Exercise is a different matter and an altogether more difficult battle that what’s on one’s plate. Hopes of a white Christmas are usually met by the disappointment of grey skies or showers, so getting outside can be a bit of a bummer. And who wants to spend Christmas in the gym?

Though are bodies are the vessels that contain all the quintessential stuff that makes us human, it’s as much on the inside as out when it comes to diet and exercise. Attitudes towards mental health have evolved, with schools, hospitals and Government better equipped, if not entirely forthcoming, when it comes to our grey matter. But sometimes what’s going on upstairs can put up roadblocks to looking after ourselves.

Seasonal affective disorder (or the appropriately abbreviated SAD) is everything wrong with winter summed up in one affliction. As awareness for winter depression increases, so do the ways in which to fight it.

UV lamps are becoming a popular option to bolster vitamin D production, but exercise releases endorphins, making us feel great and helping to keep the blues at bay. Keeping those precious endorphins active are a shoe-in to feeling better.

If temptation still gets the better of you, and those mince pies and snifters of brandy prove too difficult to eschew, then why not make it your New Year’s resolution instead. Though this carries with it the temptation of being abandoned only weeks into January and sparking a chain reaction of guilt and self-loathing, have some faith in yourself and conquer your goals little steps at a time.