Christmas is, for many, the most wonderful time of the year - full of parties, food and general joviality. Whilst this is all fun and frolics, it can have an impact on your skin, waistline and overall health. So, how can we all stay looking and feeling our best right through the festive period and into the New Year?
Winter can be harsh on our skin. This is commonly down to two major things:
- Dehydration - often caused by overindulgence in alcohol
Did you know that dehydration could give you not only shallow looking skin but also bad breath? A lack of saliva in the mouth can cause a bacterial growth leading to nasty odours. The best way to prevent festivity related dehydration is to limit your alcohol intake. A good tip to do this is to alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks. When you know you have overindulged, hydrating before bed is a good option to help prevent dehydration in the morning.
- Low humidity - caused by cold weather or heating systems
Avoiding both the cold weather outside and the heating inside is pretty much impossible. Moisturisers are often thought of as a way of putting moisture back into your skin (as suggested by their name) however most moisturisers are emollients. An emollient is a cream which acts as a barrier between your skin and these drying factors. For this reason, it is a good idea to use your moisturiser directly after a bath or shower when your skin is at its most moist.
Watch your waistline
The British Nutrition Foundation has found that on average we gain 5lbs in weight over the festive period. Not ideal when trying to squeeze into that LBD or last years suit trousers. This weight gain can be explained by our simple Christmas Weight Gain equation:
Exercise less + eat more = weight gain
Of course, no one would suggest not indulging in those pigs in blankets on the big day! And nobody's gonna blame you for not wanting to go out for a jog on a blustery winters night... but there a few things we can do to limit the effect the festive period has on our waistlines.
- Exercise more – whilst a cold and dark winter evening might not be ideal for outdoor running, winter can be a great time to go for walks with family and friends. The bonus is that the muddy English countryside is often frozen in winter so the mud problem is temporarily a non-issue. On those lovely wintry days when it is dry and brisk outside, maybe ring some friends and encourage your loved ones to walk off a few Brussel sprouts?
- Eat less – Whilst Christmas dinner is unashamedly a calorie-ridden feast, many of the treats around the festive period have more sneaky calories. Nuts are often thought of as a healthy treat and they most definitely are, filled with lovely oils and vitamins; however, they are also very high in calories. On average, 100g of chocolate cake would contain around 371 calories, 100g of Brazil Nuts, on the other hand, would contain around 656 calories! Why not try out our tips for managing overeating all year round?
Many common illnesses can be triggered or worsened by cold weather. This means that our overall health can be poorer during the winter months and no one wants to miss the office Christmas party because of a nasty cold. Here are the top three most common winter ailments and how to do your best to avoid them:
A virus spread through contact with another person who has the virus. The best way to avoid getting a cold is to wash your hands and the best way to avoid the further spread of the virus once you have caught it is to wash your hands. So, in summary, wash your hands.
- Sore throat
This is caused by viruses and bacteria so washing your hands will certainly help. Also during the winter months, the mucous layer at the back of your throat which protects it against nasty bugs can dry out due to cold air and the dry air caused by heaters. Wash your hands then get a glass of water and maybe you’ll avoid that dry cough.
Known as the 'Winter Vomiting Bug,' this is a nasty little bug which causes vomiting and diarrhoea and is very infectious. You get it by coming into contact with a person with the virus or something they have touched. So, you can probably guess the best way to avoid it? Stay at home in a small room and speak to no one. Only kidding, wash your hands.
The best thing you can do when you contract norovirus is try not to spread it any further. 'Tis the season of giving but this is a gift none of your loved ones will appreciate! So, if you have vomiting and diarrhoea the best thing to do is to stay at home and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Your symptoms should pass within a couple of days. If you have any concerns check out the NHS Choices website to identify any symptoms which may cause you to seek medical advice.