Be Merry and Bright this Winter

During these chilly months of winter, we all become more laid back in our approach to keeping active, eating a balanced intake, and most of all taking care of ourselves! With all the hassle and bustle of Christmas shopping, events, family commitments, along with having shorter light hours in the day to fit everything in, it is no wonder we loose our mo-jo for our health. So in light of my feature with Upbeat Smoothies campaign, I have put together a few tips that anyone can put to practice over this season of festivities.

Stay hydrated – Sounds so basic but it is something that so many people forget (including me!) Despite the temperature change, drinking enough water is still as important as ever. It is essential to helping your body functioning at optimal levels to hydrate your skin, flush out toxins and ward off unwanted bugs!

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Keep warm, stay active – It is extremely common for many of us to become less active during the winter months, but there is no reason to reduce your exercise. A simple 20-30 minutes walk every day is a great way to keep yourself energised and prevent health problems from occurring. But ideally you should be active for a minimum of 30 minutes five times a week, whether that is joining in a group class, running, lifting or taking up a winter sport!

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Wake up to Workout – During this time of year, most of our energy is going to be present in the morning. So it is best to get in a workout early on in the day, so your body is refreshed and at its best for you to perform a great session. Find it a struggle to squeeze in the gym? Don’t panic! Before training have a high energy snack or small meal, around an hour before, consisting of nutritious carbohydrates (such as a banana or yoghurt and berries) for a quick boost to get you ready to smash your workout.
For those who a really flagging, get yourself some good quality Pre-workout, which I use about once a week, around half an hour before hitting the weights. It contains caffeine, BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids) and creatine to provide focus and support the body to replenish protein stores.

Seasonal food – As Christmas draws ever closer, cravings can turn to all of those delicious indulgent foods, but they shouldn’t be making up the majority of our nutrition throughout the festivities. Take advantage of the wonderful seasonal fruits and vegetables, that can create some incredible healthier alternatives for everyone to enjoy.  Foods high in antioxidants, protein and fibre, are essential for keeping you and your family happy and healthy.

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 Preparation – With so many things to do, it is all the more important than ever to write down a to do list, so help you stay on top this season. Whether it is buying and wrapping up presents, decorating the tree, or planning a party, make sure you do exactly what is needed to be done, and when by.

Relax at the Buffet – Speaking of parties, we can all get too carried away at the sight of table after table of free food ( I know this all to well!) But there is no need to panic about them. Just keep in mind the portions you would usually have at a meal. Be sure to not miss out on your protein, as there is a tendency to munch away on lots of carbohydrates. It is Christmas, so there will be a lot of naughty but nice treats to be had, so go ahead and enjoy them, just have them in moderation!
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Saviour Snacks – Also part of preparing for the coming weeks, but something you should practice all year round; food prep! I cannot praise it up enough, for how well it keeps you on track of your goals, because it saves you picking up processed foods on the go when on a long day, as well as cooking for a few days! So with all the temptations lying around, get yourself a batch of your favourite nutritious snacks, and have them to had so you don’t have too many mince pies before the big day!

I love making some healthy truffles and biscuits (recipes coming soon!) or keep it simple with some seasonal berries and greek yoghurt.

Take time out for yourself – One of my biggest downfalls is setting out some time in the day just for me. It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular, or time-consuming, but enough for you to have a moment to relax, enjoy the things you like to do, so that you have chance to refresh your attitude to your to-do list. Whether it is a gentle walk around the park, spending time talking with loved ones or baking something delicious, make it a priority. When you have a positive relationship with yourself, it reflects into your everyday life. With Christmas being one of the most stressful periods of the year, if you don’t do anything else, please make sure you get yourself a routine of me time, so you can have wonderful festive celebrations.

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Where ever you will be spending your time this year, make sure it is one to remember for all the right reasons. Fall in love with the comfort of a roaring fire, twinkling lights surrounding a gorgeous tree and enjoy the company you wouldn’t trade for the world.

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Hope these pieces of advice are helpful for all of you to take action on, making this coming season a very positive and memorable one for all the right reasons! x

 

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