The festive season is upon us! Hurrah!
How are you feeling?
In the celebratory swing? Staying healthy(ish) through it all? Hope so.
Last week one of my neighbours commented on how hard he’s finding it to keep up with all the Christmas events: work functions, social catch-ups and family parties. He’s enjoying the fun of these festivities, but also finding them taxing on his energy and a challenge for his liver! I’m sure he’s not alone…
There is a LOT of information out there on how to keep well through the Christmas and New Year period. This in itself can be overwhelming. Last year I wrote down some ideas on how to best manage the season, intended as a general guide on easy at-home management. For those interested, however, I’d like to give you some more detail on the whys and hows for avoiding festive season fallout.
TOP TIP #1
Hydration is an incredibly important factor in good health. Honestly.
If you don’t drink enough fluids (namely, water) you will be dehydrated. If you’re dehydrated, your body won’t work quite as well as it should and you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
Thirst (it seems obvious, but I can’t not mention it)
Feeling faint and/or light-headed
Poor cognition (i.e. ‘fuzzy head’)
Hunger (that’s right, sometimes a glass of water is all you need!)
Hydration is even more important over the festive season as not only is the weather warm (meaning we lose water through sweat) it is also a time where there tends to be a larger than average consumption of alcohol, fizzy drinks and rich foods.
Delicious, maybe. Good for you, not so much.
Drinking water helps our bodies to flush out the extra load of sugar, alcohol, fat and additives we consume during this time. Without it, we place our bodies under significant strain and often end up feeling generally unwell by the season’s end.
Many people tell me they find it difficult to drink plain water – finding it boring or unpalatable. While I can’t do much about your perception of water, I can suggest ways to make it more interesting and therefore easier to drink:
Add a squeeze of lemon, a wedge of lime, or a small handful of frozen berries to your glass or bottle
Freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices – diluted or straight – are lovely on a hot day and will contribute to your fluid intake
Choose a wine spritzer (half wine half mineral water) rather than a straight glass of Chardy
Also aim to intersperse alcoholic drinks with at least 1 glass of still or sparkling water
Have a pot of herbal tea (such as rosehip, lemongrass or rooibos) in the fridge and sup on that when you’re thirsty (this has the added benefit of exerting a therapeutic effect, as well as helping to keep you hydrated)
Remember too that fluid doesn’t just come from what you drink. Foods can also contribute to your hydration, particularly soups and stews, smoothies, fresh fruits and – perfect for this time of year – salads full of leafy greens. Get amongst it.
Tomorrow’s festive season tip #2 Digest your food