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  • Dr Claire Chittleborough

Staying healthy over the silly season

Is it us, or has this year just flown by? Some might say that’s not such a bad thing, given what 2020 has thrown at us. Whilst some people are ready to say goodbye to it, we’re not the sort of people to wish our time away. The silly season is upon us and this means there is still ample time for us to flip the bad times for good!


Christmas time is a chance for many to unwind and recharge for the year ahead. It is also a time of great temptation, with shops and stores filled with tasty treats. And they’re always on sale too! Throw in a bunch of social gatherings, alcohol, late nights and lazing in the armchair with a constant full belly, and you’ve got a recipe for becoming run down, and fast. And who wants to see in the New Year with a nasty cold?! If you’re keen to stay healthy this festive period, but want to indulge a bit also (totally allowed), then read on for some handy tips to keep the balance just right over the silly season.


Eat lots of nutritious food


There’s no getting away from Christmas food… Mince pies, Christmas pudding, sweets, chocolate, the odd Baileys over ice, the list is endless. And when your cupboards are packed from the Christmas shop, it’s difficult not to be tempted every time you walk past the kitchen. Excessive treats leave you with wild sugar highs (and the lows that follow), bloating and constipation. Ensure your cupboards are stocked well with nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables this Chrissy so there are healthy snacks at hand all the time. This way you’ll be much closer to hitting your vitamin, mineral and fibre quotas each day - nutrients that are often overlooked at this time of year.


Exercise daily


Did we mention the armchair? Yes, we realise they look so appealing following a big lunch and there is a good reason for that. After eating, we need to allow time for our digestive system to do its job… Digest! But once the food-baby has disappeared, that’s the perfect time to vacate the soft surroundings for something a little more airy (i.e. get outside and move). We’re not saying you have to join the gym, but a brisk walk each day will help to keep the belly fat away. Aim for 30-60 minutes each day. You’ll feel great when January comes around and you can still fit in your work clothes!


Drink lots of water


This is probably the most important tip of all, as for many, the holidays mean increased alcohol intake. How much water each person needs each day depends on the person - where they live, what medical conditions they have, what they do with themselves each day. A good daily goal to hit is 1.5 litres of pure water. We also get water from the food we eat, but pure water (either out of the tap or from a bottle) is best to keep our insides functioning well (not to mention keeping you from a solid hangover after a night out with your work colleagues!). After all, our body is approximately 60-70% water! If you want to avoid dehydration, keep sipping water throughout the day. And if you need a cool, reusable water bottle to carry around with you, you know what to ask Santa for this year!


Sleep well


It’s party time! Late nights socialising with friends and family means a lack of sleep for many of us. We need sleep for proper brain function, repair and replenishment, and just about everything we do. Without enough sleep every night, we start to become a little less ourselves. Throw in a bunch of alcohol and not only do we not get enough sleep, but the sleep we do get is poor quality. Then you’re really in trouble! If you’re out partying until the early hours this Christmas, try to get in some Zzz’s during the day to give your body the break it needs. Plus, we don’t know anyone who is averse to a festive season siesta each day!


Take time to relax


We rate this one up there with water intake for importance. Slow down and savour the time with your family and friends, or maybe some quality you-time. It has been a hectic year with the pandemic taking it out of many of us. Some of us have spent more time with loved ones this year than we ever have, but did you really savour that time together? Life is precious and times like Christmas and New Years are there to make the most of time with loved ones. However, if you find yourself away from family this year - alone time is just as important. Take a walk, take in your surroundings, make time for the things you enjoy doing, breathe, and relaaaaaax!


Come say hello


It wouldn’t be Christmas without coming to see us now would it?! In all seriousness, if you’ve been fighting off a niggle for ages, now is the time to get it seen to. Give us a call on 0413 774 399 to check availability as our opening hours are always different during this period. Don’t let those pains and pangs follow you into 2021. Let’s start the new year pain-free!


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all! Stay healthy.

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