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Remember to keep things healthy this holiday

Health
 Remember to keep things healthy this holiday (Photo: iStock)

Christmas is here. You can tell by the relaxed atmosphere, and the holiday mood everywhere you look. There are inevitable activities that have become integrated into the Christmas holidays over the years.

These include travels to the countryside and holiday destinations and lots of partying with family circles and friends.

Such activities are intricately intertwined with your immediate and even longer-term health.

Many people will be on the roads. You only need to have a few reckless drivers to end up with avoidable motor vehicle accidents. Not only do road traffic accidents cause fatalities, they also maim others for life.

There tends to be lots of unhealthy foods and drinks on Christmas dinner tables. Some food types will contribute to cardio-metabolic diseases, either in the immediate or in the long run.

Excessive drinking can cause acute toxicity and is also associated with chronic diseases.

It will be in your best interests to celebrate Christmas with your health in mind. If hitting the roads, make sure the designated driver is sober and fully alert. Take frequent breaks along the way if driving for long.

Observe all speed limits and traffic signs. Be on the lookout for other road users, and be as courteous as you can.

Avoid driving during the night if at all possible. These precautions will give you the best chance of being safe whilst on the roads. Let’s look at food. There will be the inevitable carbs-packed foods, what with all the chapatis and other starchy choices. And these will likely be accompanied by red and succulent roasts.

Some will have specially baked cakes for dessert, again packed with calories. Salads and veggies will also be aplenty. You better be very selective about what you’ll end up eating.

Being lean on all those carbs and roasts, and being generous on the veggies, will keep you on the right side of your metabolism. You’ll probably have maintained your weight by the time it’s all over, lessening your risk for type two diabetes and other associated conditions.

Drinks? Sugary soft drinks and alcoholic beverages tend to be aplenty over the Christmas period. Water tends to be freely available too. But many will be downing more alcohol than necessary, while others will have too many soft drinks.

Excessive alcohol can get you acutely intoxicated, sometimes fatally. You could end up with chronic liver disease. Best to drink in moderation, or not at all.

Sugar-laden soft drinks aren’t much better either; they heighten the risks of metabolic diseases. Water? Obey your thirst and drink plenty, it will help detox all your partying ills, and keep you optimally hydrated.

There will be other healthier things you could also do, like keeping yourself physically active. Merry Christmas.  

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