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Five tips for a happier and healthier Christmas

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Christmas is the time when your bank account and free time shrink, whilst your waistline and stress levels go the other way. Find out how to keep trim and toned, both emotionally and physically, this festive season.

1. Stress

Stress is often reduced significantly by ‘doing' rather than ‘worrying', and it's easy to make a list for things such as gift and food shopping, Christmas cards, and other 'must-do' items. There's also a great sense of achievement when you can tick off completed tasks, and delegate some of them.

2. Diet

Cramming all the good things about Christmas into one meal sounds enticing and it's hard to avoid the temptation. Some families spread the treats out over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, or you can always send your guests home with doggy bags. Hosts also tend to be very generous at Christmas parties, so saying “no thanks” to every second offering is a good rule of thumb.

3. Alcohol

Be aware of how much you're consuming. A standard drink is 10g of alcohol, which equates to 100ml wine (less than we usually pour ourselves), 30ml spirits, 425ml light beer or 285ml full-strength beer. As with being discerning with food, making every second drink a non-alcoholic one means you can still clink glasses to Christmas cheer.

4. Physical activity

It can be hard when your gym or regular exercise session takes a break over Christmas, or your tennis, golf or cycling buddies go away for the holidays. The good living of Christmas makes physical activity even more important, and the long summer days are a great time for, say, an early morning swim or a late-evening walk.

5. Emotions

A strained family relationship won't miraculously cure itself at Christmas, and turning to alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs as a means of coping will not alleviate stress. You'll most likely be able to identify triggers for conflict and avoid these topics or behaviours. Some people feel the loss of loved ones greatly at Christmas, and your sympathy and empathy can be a loving gift for them.

This article was supplied by Australia's leading retirement website YourLifeChoices

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