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Boost your vitamin D level

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As we race to the end of what feels like a shortened year, we face a few uncertain weeks that would normally be filled with festivities and fun.

Every Christmas comes with a heaped tablespoon full of stress, served with a side of anxiety, but this year it has doubled!

Normal no longer feels like it used to, uncertainty and inconsistencies can make us feel weaker and less stable, but by strengthening our immunity, our resilience, and our mindset we will be ready for the challenges of the year ahead. 

Placing the emphasis on improving health and fitness in 2022 will dramatically help this cause. Over the past 18 months many of you have discovered the glorious countryside that surrounds us and enjoyed not only the cardiovascular benefits they provide but the emotional and mental well-being they facilitate. Being fit and healthy is not something you can achieve and then tick off on your bucket list, it is a lifelong journey that changes direction as we age and has to adapt to the challenges that life throws in our path. 

What if you could have fun over Christmas without putting on half a stone? While it might seem is easy to write off the month of December and plan to do the January detox or diet, we offer a few simple ideas for you to try that will help you keep the ‘Christmas’ weight off this year.

Start the day in credit

Make the most of the fact that you will not be racing off to the office or on the school run. Get into credit early in the day by going for a brisk walk; make time in the middle of the day for family winter walk, it will boost your vitamin D level and help take some of the ‘festive ‘stress. 

 Try and start your day with a good breakfast which is full of protein, this will give your body a good start to the day, keep you fuller for longer and may help with cravings.

Finish the day in credit

It is easy to end up drinking every night throughout Christmas due to all the socialising and the bottles of Advocaat, Baileys Cream and Dubonnet that reappear on the sideboard at this time of year! Take one or two nights off a week and get an early night. This will stop your adrenal glands going into overdrive and producing lots of cortisol which, in turn makes you crave sugary and salty foods more tempting!

Eat more vegetables

Have a lighter Christmas dinner by filling at least half your plate with vegetables before adding anything else. (Caution – does not include roast potatoes!)

Green vegetables are excellent as they are low in calories and high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals. 

Drink plenty of water

As well as your normal 1 1/2 litres of water every day, (yes you need to drink that much and no you won’t keep going to the toilet and if you do, think of all those extra steps!) try to have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink. It will slow down your drinking and help keep you hydrated. 

Maintain a routine

Try as much as possible to keep some part of your normal routine going. Implementing a structure to your day can give you a sense of control and help minimise stress particularly when other aspects of your life feel uncertain. 

Prior to establishing the Personal Best, Carl Benton taught Physical Education, coached teams, and ran fitness classes for 10 years in the New Forest. Carl was also a regular contributor to Ultra Fit magazine, writing over 40 articles in collaboration with Pete Cohen.

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