Top tips for staying healthy over Christmas

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Okay so let’s be honest, this subject can be a little well... dull, but it doesn’t have to be, and it is crucial for getting the best out of yourself. Many students pop back home for the Christmas period, making it the perfect time to remember what it was like eating a balanced meal, as yes, even I am guilty of opting for pizza or supernoodles a little too often! However, at the same time no one is expecting you to eat nothing but vegetables (got to treat yourself to the odd mince pie, slice of Christmas cake etc.)

Secondly, try to sort out the strange sleeping pattern you’ve been putting your body through over this first semester. Aim to get at least 8 hours, and cut out that through the day napping! Whilst at the same time obviously go out and celebrate with friends you possibly haven't seen in a few months, but make sure you get yourself back into some sort of routine and recharge your batteries. You’ll feel loads better for it – trust me!

Thirdly, exercising is key. I feel it is best to go for something you enjoy, and maybe do it with some friends. I know I will probably choose jogging because it is, for me, the most convenient as it can be done anywhere. Inevitably the cold weather makes us even less motivated, so just get out there and flick on that kettle and run a soothing bath for when you return.

Alternatively, get yourself down to the local gym, it usually isn't too costly to sign up, plus it’s all indoors and there will be a range of different workouts you can do to suit what is best for you. Or, if you really don't want to make a fool out of yourself in public, just do a home workout. There are so many fitness DVD’s out there you could purchase, as well as games such as ‘Just Dance’ (which I really enjoy). But, there’s nothing stopping you from just sticking some music on and making up your own combination of sit-ups, star jumps etc.

Finally, what’s round the corner after Christmas? New Year! Although so many resolutions are very short lived, it’s a great opportunity for a fresh healthier start and to really give something like quitting smoking or cutting back on alcohol a go. I understand this is in no way easy, but as students, it would free up some extra cash, too.

The hardest part of changing is making the change to become healthier, once you’re over the first hurdle of reintroducing yourself to balanced meals or whatever, it will then just become the norm. After all, it will make you appreciate the taste of that pizza, if you’re not eating it all the time - not to mention you’ll feel better in yourself, too!

Good luck and remember staying healthy over the festive period is doable!

See you in the New Year!

Laura Abbey lives at Liberty Dock in Leeds and she's a 1st year student studying Classical Cello at Leeds College of Music.

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