_As festive seasons draws near — be it Christmas, New Year, or Chinese New Year — we often find ourselves eating and drinking more.
This comes as no surprise in Singapore where eating and drinking are the predominant social activities. With COVID-19 measures in place, limiting gatherings to five (and soon to be eight) people, it is no surprise we find ourselves indulging more than previous years.
True as that may be, living a healthy life does not mean sacrificing times of celebration and joy.
As a firm believer of finding balance in all things, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the holidays without having to compromise on your health goals.
Making your calories count
One of the easiest ways to prepare for an upcoming holiday is simply account for your intake of the delectable food and beverages.
Yes, it is true that you will most likely exceed your daily calorie intake on your social nights. (Hurray to sugar-laden, fatty in all indulgent foods).
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t balance your weekly calorie intake by finding workarounds on other days.
For two or three days before your big night out, try to consume a few hundred calories less than what you usually would.
You can choose to eat more low-calorie foods such as vegetables, or by skipping a meal completely (also known as intermittent fasting, which is perfectly safe for most individuals). With that, you wouldn’t need to sacrifice any indulgence on the holiday itself and still be able to keep in track with your health goals.
Obesity is a dangerous disease that contributes to type 2 diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure. While you may not become fat from just a few cheat meals during the holidays, failure to practise restrain or maintain healthy eating habits could easily lead to a downward spiral of poor eating behaviour.
Increase energy expenditure i.e., exercise more
Incorporating additional movements throughout the week leading to the holiday would also greatly assist you in staying healthy.
Going for a simple jog, enrolling in a few fitness classes, or even walking after a meal would all count towards exercise.
If time is limited, waking up 30 minuets earlier to incorporate a workout in the morning!
While this may seem dreadful, taking actionable steps to your health goal may trigger other healthy behaviours that will help you achieve your health goals. Furthermore, exercise (and waking up early) has been said to increase work productivity.
Who knows? You may just end up creating more time for yourself by taking the 30 minutes for a quick workout.
Organising healthy group activities
There is certainly a push towards more health-positive social activities in the last couple of years.
We are starting to see more people choosing to trek down one of Singapore’s park connectors or meeting up for a climbing session as part of their usual meetups.
If exercise is not what you are after, a picnic at MacRitchie Reservoir Park or even barbeque at East Coast Park will allow you to preplan what you eat! Choosing homemade food with less sodium, oils, and sugars will definitely go a long way.
Furthermore, your wallet will most likely thank you with all the cost savings from your own meal prep.
Getting chiropractic care
While being active is something all of us can achieve ourselves, sustaining an injury would need more professional assistance to be truly free from pain or injury.
If you have been trying to ‘tahan’ your aches and soreness for some time already, seeking professional help from a chiropractor may be a great way to kickstart your recovery and also to practise self-kindness.
Pain often limits the amount of activities you can engage in. This likely means no exercise for socials or even no picnics because you can’t sit on the ground without severe pain.
It is true chronic pain (or injury) is unlikely to kill you.
However, your quality of life — and also the enjoyment you get out of this holiday season — can significantly improve with the right chiropractic care.