Most of us are guilty of over-indulging, laying about and not doing an awful amount at Christmas, spending days upon days eating endless food. I guess though that is part of the beauty and fun of it though. Now the time is rapidly approaching to break out the Celebrations and the turkey, just think about if you did eat and drink all of your favourite Christmassy treats but stayed a little more active as well.
How much better do you think you would feel? Would you feel more awake? Would you concentrate more? Or, feel better about yourself?
Let’s look into how you can stay active with your family and the benefits of doing so.
Why should I be active?
The turkey and stuffing hangover is just around the corner if you don’t think about what you will do now. Picture the scene, you will eat a week’s worth of food in on sitting and before you think about you are laid out on the sofa opening a box of After Eights to complete full activation of sloth-mode.
Keeping active, obviously after your food has gone down, is a great way to stay alert, feel more awake and boost your concentration. It has been proven that exercise helps to release endorphins that in-turn make you feel better about yourself and feel more awake.
Not only do the endorphins make you feel more awake in the shorter term, but you will also sleep better after doing exercise or some sort of activity. This means that you, your family or your children will be up all night buzzing from the amount of sugar and other good stuff that is in our food.
You will also feel better the day after eating a tonne of food if you have done something after eating that can help burn off some of the food. You won’t wake up so lethargic or tired.
What activities can I do with my family this Christmas?
We have come up with a list of easy things to do this Christmas and this Christmas break to keep you and your family active. This isn’t an exhaustive list but it can give you some good ideas.
1. Go for a walk. Yes, we know it is cold out and everyone suggests to go for a walk but it really does have a huge number of benefits for you and your family. The benefits of walking can include getting you out into nature and away from a screen, improves your lung health, helps you to lose or maintain your weight (perfect for this time of year) and if you walk with them, helps you to connect with friends or family. All around the UK are beautiful places to go walking that will help you clear your mind and relax.
2. Unleash your inner child. Didn’t expect that I bet! Being active is not all about running, walking or hitting the gym. It is about having fun and doing what works for you and your mind. Get the family together and play games that you all enjoy. You will be around and moving without even noticing it.
3. Go for a jog. Yes, the one you were all dreading. The family jog. Get everyone together and out into the cold to burn off some Christmas pud. Make it as long or as short, as I am sure a lot will opt for, get the heart rate going, release endorphins and break into a sweat. You feel so much better after a light jog with everyone, even around the block a few times will do you the world of good.
4. turn off the screens. You may have all been given a fancy new phone, a new laptop or something else techy as a present but don’t we all spend enough time sat in front of screens? Turn off the screens for a couple of hours and get your brain working again by reading a book, doing some exercise or simply talking with each other. There are so many benefits of taking a break from your screen that include enjoying the moment you are in without interruption from a notification, spending more quality time with your family by connecting and talking with them more effectively and improving your sleep away from the blue light from screens.
5. Spend time together. This is the most important thing you can do this Christmas. Be there for one and another. It has not been the easiest of years for a lot of people and a lot of people will just need their family and friends with them to have a good time.
By spending time with people you love and doing the things you love, you are keeping your mind active, decreasing stress levels, increasing your cognitive ability and can lift your mood.
So whatever you end up doing this Christmas, why not try something new to keep you and your family active and awake. We know it is traditionally the time of year to eat too much and lay in the warm, but you never know, you could find yourself a new tradition in going on a Christmas evening walk or by playing games all evening instead of staring at screens.