It IS possible to enjoy a healthy Christmas and New Year break without undoing all the hard work you have put in throughout the year! KickStartCQ has put together 6 tips to help you have a happy, healthy holiday season and enjoy this special time with friends and family.

1. Try to maintain your existing exercise schedule over the holiday period. Remember that it is much easier to continue a routine then it is to put one on hold and start up again in the New Year. If there are friends or family staying with you ask them to join in! If you don’t have an existing schedule you may like to take time out to develop a simple routine for over the holidays that you can continue into the New Year.

2. Strive to be active (outside if possible) for at least 30 minutes each day. If you struggle with having a free 30 minute block, break up the time into three 10 minute sessions – you will be amazed at the positive impact this will have on your overall energy levels and mood. There are plenty of easy ways to find 30 minutes of exercise each day – park further away from the shops, take the dog for a walk, play with the kids, go for a bicycle tour of Christmas lights – use your imagination.

3. Be sure to get enough sleep - aim to have at least 8 hours sleep each night. Getting plenty of quality sleep will assist in strengthening your immune system and giving you more energy, as well as helping you deal with stressful situations. Avoid napping during the day, especially after eating a large meal. If you can stay awake during the day you will enjoy a much deeper sleep during the night and help develop a better sleep pattern.

4. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Central Queensland is notorious for its hot, dry summer days so make sure that you drink water often, carrying a water bottle (or having one handy) is a good way to remember to stay hydrated.  At this time of year there are also many parties and family celebrations that involve alcohol. When at a party or celebration remember to have a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage, it is also a good idea to have a healthy snack before heading off to a party, and never drink alcohol on an empty stomach.

5. Make healthy and nutritious choices. It is very easy to get carried away with all the festive food and drinks around during this time of year. The truth is that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet, so remember to keep aiming for 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables each day. Maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t mean you need to miss out on enjoying one or two holiday treats however self-control will be needed to ensure you are enjoying them in moderation. It is a good idea to keep a food journal so you can see what you have eaten each day.

6. Stay Calm. The holidays are a great time to catch up with family and friends however it can also be extremely stressful. As best as you can, try to plan you’re shopping around the ‘off-peak’ times to avoid frenzied crowds and chaotic queues. For all the time you spend out and about braving the shops getting that perfect gift, try to spend just as much time at home enjoying a relaxing cuppa or in the backyard reading a good book. While you’re catching up with long-lost friends or at an extended family gathering remember to take a few deep breathes and chill before letting stress get the better of you.

Above all else, enjoy this special time of year and have fun. Look to laugh as much as possible, stay active, and take every opportunity to create wonderful memories. Say hello to a stranger in the street and have a chat to your neighbours, you may never know the positive influence you could have on someone else’s day.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the team at KickStartCQ!