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Forward Thinking Magazine : December 2010
32 Macquarie Adviser Services Watch your diet during the holiday period Another mince pie? Really? While half the fun of Christmas is the traditional Christmas spread, we should avoid using it as an excuse to over-eat. A roast turkey lunch with all the trimmings, plus alcohol, adds up to a massive 3,543 calories. Women only need 1,900 calories a day, while men need just 2,500 calories. To work off the meal you would need to exercise vigorously for eight hours and who has time to do that at Christmas? Instead, think about substituting some calorie-laden Christmas treats with healthier alternatives. The Heart Foundation has some great suggestions for having a healthy Yuletide. Think about using healthier oils such as canola, sunflower or olive oil in your cooking. If your plate looks like Mount Everest consider reducing your serving size. Also, avoid stuffing yourself on chocolates or pudding and swap for the wonderful stone fruit that is in season instead. Drink in moderation Did you know there is a scientifically-proven link between alcohol, heart conditions and Christmas? Dubbed ‘holiday heart syndrome’ in one US study, researchers have shown there is an association between drinking heavily during holidays and sudden onset irregular heart rhythms. “This Christmas, try not to drink too much alcohol,” says Dr Phillips. “If you drink, do so in moderation. Make sure there is plenty of water available at meal times and alternate between alcoholic drinks and water. ” she says. Take steps to reduce stress Let’s face it, Christmas can be one of the most stressful times of the year. Most people are already worn out after a busy year, and then the extended family arrive and stay for three weeks. This can add up to a stressful and very busy Christmas. If you find it is stressful having family to stay think about asking them to stay for only a short time or suggest Christmas lunch at a restaurant instead. Extend your dining room table Christmas should be a happy time, but it can also be a sad time, as we remember people who are no longer with us. If you know people who might not have anyone to spend Christmas Day with, this year why not invite them to share your table? Take care of your skin Many of us enjoy spending time at the beach, soaking up some summer sun. However, it is important to do this safely to reduce the risk of skin cancer. This summer, if you are out and about wear a hat and long sleeves, use a high factor sun screen at all times and try to avoid exposure to the sun when at its hottest during the middle of the day. Guard against ‘the Christmas wheeze’ The National Asthma Council has issued warnings about exposure to excessive dust at Christmas time. Each year, we drag out dusty Christmas decorations from the cellar or the attic and for some people, exposure to dust can trigger an asthma attack. This year, make sure anyone in your family with asthma avoids exposure to dusty Christmas decorations. Also, when you put them away again in early January, think about packing them away in plastic tubs that will act as a barrier between the decorations and the dust. Service your car Planning a trip this Christmas? Do not forget to service your car to ensure it is fit for the drive. Check your oil and radiator fluid, pump up the tyres and take a walk around it to check all the lights are working. Here are our ten top suggestions for end-of-year resolutions: