FEELING GREAT: Get into healthier habits for New Year

Bad Christmas habits can slip into the New Year if you’re not careful.
Cut down the chocolates and replace with a healthier option.Cut down the chocolates and replace with a healthier option.
Cut down the chocolates and replace with a healthier option.

Those habits include finding it acceptable to eat chocolate for breakfast, and there are those endless supplies of mince pies and chocolate tins everywhere you go.

Whilst there’s no doubt that the festive and New Year season is great fun, if we’re being honest – it’s also full of stress and excess.

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You’re trying to get everything sorted, as well as be on top form for your celebrations, all at the same time as eating copious amounts of platters of nibbles and maybe even enjoying more drinks than you usually would.

I wanted to write to let you know there’s a middle ground between over-doing it at all of your parties and replacing all chocolate with vegetables instead.

Even if it’s simply factoring in a 20 minutes afternoon walk each day, focusing on more protein, and choosing a good quality wine or gin over a big glass of Baileys – there’s plenty of ways to keep healthy, and not push to the side all of the hard work you’ve done leading up to the Christmas and New Year.

Switch things up in the kitchen: There’s a handful of easy swaps that can taper the excess indulging and keep you feeling healthy – why not try sweet potatoes instead of your usual spuds? You can roast them or turn them into a delicious mash.

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When it comes to enjoying a nice drink, think about switching from heavy, creamy drinks to a nice glass of wine.

There’s plenty of ways to swap foods for tasty, healthy options without them being ‘boring’.

Look after yourself: We’re all aware of the importance of exercise and a healthy, balanced, diet – but this time of year it can be easy to let those good habits slip.

If you’ve already established a routine, do your best to stick to it. And even if that goes out of the window, give yourself at least 10 minutes of ‘me time’ a day, so you don’t always feel like you’re running around trying to get things done.

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Take some time out: You’re likely to have been rushing around all day, every day, so it’s important to make yourself a hot drink and put your feet up for a moment.

You could find time to play a fun family board game, read a book, watch your favourite show.

Taking some quality time out of your busy schedule this time of year is essential to de-stress.

P.S If you’ve got a bad back which is getting in the way of enjoying all the fun this year, click here to download my free back pain guide: www.paulgoughphysio.com/back-pain/