Is it Possible to Stay Healthy Over the Festive Season? Yes.

Some argue that the lead up to Christmas is more exciting than Christmas itself. It's certainly longer in duration, and each year we seem to start celebrating earlier. Hands up if you bought and decorated your Christmas tree before December 1st?

Treat yo'self

It's hard to stay healthy when there are Christmas treats every way you turn. Whether it's a colleague bringing baked goods in to work, chocolates from your boss, or general events and celebrations feeding you every other day, it can be a real challenge to stay disciplined. But if every day becomes a treat yo'self day, you may end up rolling in to the new year more easily than you'd hoped.

Day-to-day fill your diet with lots of greens and colourful fruit to help you get all the good antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. According to Nutrition Australia, all the good ones are in the colourful kind, with each colour carrying a unique set of disease-fighting chemicals (phytochemicals, FYI). So, even if you're at an event, make your plate pretty and eat up.

Ideally, if you're staving off your hunger with healthier alternatives, you'll find it easier saying 'no' to the copious amounts of sweets on offer. Eat things like fruits, nuts or proteins before going to drinks or nibbles-style events to avoid binging on canapes that're usually of the 'beige' variety. Also, we often mistake dehydration for hunger, so keep up that water intake.

"You can sleep when you're dead"

Sure, "you can sleep when you're dead" but how proactive and enjoyable are your experiences going to be if you can barely hold your lids open? People who say this obviously haven't experienced back-to-back Christmas parties with back-to-back meetings, deadlines and other life demands.

A recent Forbes article discussed the importance of sleep in relation to productivity. It can assist you in four different ways of production: improved memory, less chance of a burnout, better decision-making abilities and better accuracy.

"Improving your sleep is crucial to your productivity because the restorative part of sleep, including the part that helps solidify information into your memory, takes place in the stage of sleep called rapid eye movement(REM)." - Ashley Stahl, Forbes contributor

Whether it's for work or play, you'll want to make good decisions, enjoy yourself and of course remember all the fantastic experiences you've had over the festive season, so make sure you're aiming for those quality sleep hours.

Did you say gym, or gin?

Everyone becomes a little slack over the festive period, and if you normally exercise a few times a week and have found yourself trading weights for mince pies or a spin class for extra sleep, don't beat yourself up about it too much. But maintaining some kind of regular routine will make you feel a hell of a lot better than giving in day five when all of the Christmas madness just seems too much.

As many events as there are in the diary, spontaneous drinks or activities can easily pop up, which is why it's great to have a morning or lunchtime workout under your belt. We've even started a lunchtime running club here at Latitude to keep us motivated. Even if it means getting up 15-20 minutes earlier for a brisk walk, jog or living room circuit, you'll know you can tackle whatever the day throws at you if you have a jumpstart on it.

Exercise is good for boosting energy levels and keeping your brain switched on, therefore trying to keep up as much of your regular routine as possible will not only make you feel better when indulging in festive treats but will give you the energy to enjoy yourself to the fullest and get the most out of the season.

Your bank account could do with staying healthy too

Yes, this isn't the most fun conversation. But neither will be the one if you don't like the look of your credit card statement. It's all fun and games until you check your bank balance, but if you're tracking your spending and keeping up to date with your transactions in real-time (like with our new Latitude app), then you'll have a better chance of not blowing your budget.

Another option is to take advantage of our new Latitude Low Rate Mastercard that we've added extra features to. The low rate of 11.99% p.a., up to 55 days interest free* and complimentary insurance benefits like Price Protection, Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty mean you can shop with confidence. Find out more and see how it could benefit you when you shop here.

* To take advantage of up to 55 days Interest Free on everyday credit card purchases, you must pay the full balance of the account both for the statement before the purchases were made, and for the statement on which the purchases are listed.

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