Five tips to stay healthy over the holidays

The Christmas and New Year period can be lots of fun and a great opportunity to catch up with friends and family you might not have seen too much of during the year. But it can also be a time where we eat and drink too much, and get a bit stressed out, so I’ve put together a few tips to help you stay fit and healthy.

1. Plan ahead. Because it’s a special time of year, some people expect their family get-togethers to be ‘perfect’. No wonder they’re often disappointed! Start by lowering your expectations, then try and plan ahead for the most important things and share the load around the family.

2. Drink plenty of water. During hot weather, you need to drink more than your thirst probably tells you to. This is especially important if you’ve been drinking alcohol as it dehydrates you. Choose cold water, juices, iced tea or hot tea and avoid fizzy drinks as they tend to do more harm than good.

3. Watch what you eat. I know it’s easier said than done, and indulging every now and then is fine – after all, life is for living! – but try and keep a bit of balance in your diet. Choose the prawns over the party pies, or the nuts over the nougat, and try and eat some vegetables or salad with the ham and turkey.

4. Don’t forget to exercise. Exercise is a great way to burn off a few calories and ‘clear the cobwebs’, but you have to be sensible about it when it’s hot. Try and exercise early or late in the day when it’s a bit cooler, keep the fluids up and make sure you pace yourself.

5. Get your hearing checked. There’s nothing worse than being surrounded by friends and family but not being able to join in the conversation because you’re struggling to hear what’s being said. It’s also frustrating for others if they have to repeat things all the time. A hearing test is quick and easy, and could make your holiday a bit happier.

Happy holidays!

Dr Ross Walker MB, BS (HONS), FRACP
Preventive Health Specialist