The final post in my Christmas Survival series is all about the big day and getting prepared for it. This step-by-step guide to Christmas Day will make sure you don’t falter at the final hurdle and keep fit and healthy through Christmas.
Be a giver
Make sure you give more presents than you receive. A study by the University of Buffalo showed that those who give more are less likely to suffer an early death. So you may not have as much stuff on the day, but in the long term you win.
Make a socks appeal
Pre-empt your well-meaning sock-buying relatives and put Sensoria Fitness socks (sensoriafitness.com) on your wish list. Sensors in the fabric can monitor your running gait in real time so you can make the most of that Boxing Day run you’re definitely going to do.
Christmas dinner isn’t the same without it, but the British Dietetic Association suggest a way to make gravy a little less unhealthy: allow the fat from the turkey juices to rise to the surface, then skim them off and use the remainder for your delicious gravy.
Enjoy some pudding
Don’t feel too guilty about eating Christmas pudding. Although it is high in sugar, it’s also got fibre, B vitamins, potassium, iron and calcium. If it’s home-made it’ll be lower in trans fats than a shop-bought one, and you can reduce the sugar by making your own and swapping out the dried fruit for fresh fruit.
Spending days on end with the family can be tense. Try to control your temper, because research that your risk of a heart attack rises after an angry outburst. If you’re about to explode take some alone time before you talk things through.
Stand for the Queen’s speech
Why? First, it’s respectful. And second, Dr Mike Loosemore, England’s chief medical officer at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, says that standing for just three hours a day has the same health benefits as doing ten marathons a year. You’ve got to start somewhere...
Nap yourself awake
Drink a coffee and have a 15-minute snooze. You’ll wake feeling refreshed as the coffee hits your brain. Studies show this will boost your memory too, so you’ll finally beat your uncle at Trivial Pursuit.
Telly for your belly
Trapped in front of Downton Abbey? Try this: whenever a bell rings do ten wide-arm press-ups. When someone from ‘upstairs’ appears ‘downstairs’ do 15 triceps dips off the sofa. Lastly, every time Lady Mary raises her eyebrows you owe ten V-sits. Explain the rules to everyone so they can point out when you’re slacking off.
Call your nearest and dearest
When it’s all over, take time to call your relatives and tell them what a lovely day you had. Talking to other people about positive events is associated with increased well-being.