Release your inner reindeer for a healthy Christmas!


by Bianca Castro |

Follow these tips from Rudolph and the gang, and have yourself a merry, healthy, happy Christmas!

DASHER

Let’s face it, we all do lots of dashing about during the festive period, but there’s nothing like really getting your heart rate up to keep your body and mind feeling good this Christmas.

Studies show that cardio exercise is brilliant for lowering blood pressure, burning calories and strengthening our immune system. Not only that, but by improving our sleep and mood, exercise also indirectly boosts the brain, ensuring we don’t forget all those lovely warm, fuzzy memories we’ll be making.

CUPID

Hang the mistletoe up and get close and cosy this Christmas. Kissing and cuddling releases oxytocin, which reduces our blood pressure, eases stress and makes us feel happier and more bonded.

So, chuck a Christmas film on, snuggle under a blanket and have a big Christmas cuddle.

DANCER

Partial to a bit of rockin’ around the Christmas tree? Not only is dancing great for getting your heart rate up, it also improves muscle strength and lung health, reduces anxiety, increases your energy levels and can even boost your brain power.

In fact, research suggests that, while all aerobic exercise can help reverse the signs of brain ageing, dancing has the greatest effect. Plus, you can burn over 400 calories dancing for just one hour. What better way to work off that extra helping of Christmas pud!

VIXEN

Feeling foxy over the festive season? You’re not alone. Research suggests that people tend to have more sex in December, and the health benefits are endless. Not only does getting intimate boost your immune system and self-esteem, it lowers blood pressure, promotes better sleep and may even help you look younger.

So why not enjoy some festive frolics? ’Tis the season after all…

DONNER

Give your health and happiness levels a boost and don a colourful Christmas jumper

or brightly coloured dress.

Studies show that brighter colours and fabrics put us in better moods and help us feel good. Failing that, smile! According to researchers, smiling, even if you don’t feel happy, helps to decrease stress levels and lower your heart rate.

COMET

Light up your festive season by taking as many wintry walks as you can. Natural light helps our bodies to produce vitamin D and wards off seasonal depression. It also improves our circadian rhythm and promotes healthy sleep patterns. And it isn’t only natural light that has health benefits. According to psychologists, putting up your Christmas lights brings joy, cheer and comfort by reminding us of happy childhood memories.

PRANCER

Whether they’re starting a conga at the office party or dressing up as Santa, we all know that person who loves prancing around and going all out! But being the life and soul is no bad thing for your health.

According to research, when we feel confident, we’re more likely to eat healthier foods, be more active and enjoy improved emotional wellbeing.

BLITZEN

Feel better this Christmas by doing a quick health blitz beforehand. Even making a few tweaks to your diet, such as choosing food and drinks that are lower in sugar, fat and alcohol, can boost your heart health in the run-up to Christmas. If you’re overweight, medical experts suggest trying to consume 500-600 fewer calories than you normally would each day, to help you lose weight and reap health benefits.

RUDOLPH

Has the cold weather got your nose glowing redder than Rudolph’s? It’s not all bad news.

Research suggests that the cold may help improve sleep quality, as well as our ability to perform cognitive tasks such as decision making. And studies have found that exercising in cold weather burns off extra calories — so get those snowballs ready and join in with any reindeer games!

Edited by Stephanie May

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