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5 ways to improve your health over Christmas

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As an osteopath, my patients often ask me for advice about what they can do at home to improve their overall health and mobility. Here, I’ve put together 5 simple ways you can beat the winter blues and feel amazing to boot!

1. Drink more water. You hear it all the time, but do you actually do it? Try drinking two large mugs of hot water with (unwaxed, organic) lemon slices before you eat anything each morning, and have regular drinks of water throughout the day. Being well-hydrated is a great way to have bags of energy.

2. Go for a 20-minute walk every day. Exercise boosts energy and mood, allows you to sleep better, reduces blood pressure and improves your cardiovascular system. Try leaving your phone behind and getting out into nature- the greener the better!

3. Get some sleep! All too often our hectic lives mean we drag ourselves out of bed bleary-eyed as the alarm goes off and feel tired all week. Make the most of the Christmas break by catching at least 8 hours a night- and turn off the screens at least half an hour before bedtime to allow your body to wind down.

4. Are you getting your 5-a-day? We should all be eating at least 5 pieces of fruit and veg every day (in fact recent research suggests a lot more) in order to get the nutrients our bodies need to function well. Eating enough fruit and veg also protects against cancer, heart disease and stroke.

5. Do some dynamic stretching or yoga. Gentle stretching improves mobility and lubricates joint surfaces, and better flexibility in those stiff joints reduces discomfort. For those who spend a lot of time sitting hunched over a PC, focus on stretching the pecs and hip flexors (quads and psoas).

Merry Christmas!

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/23/five-day-10-portions-fruit-veg-cut-early-death

http://time.com/4352177/exercise-benefits-brain-and-mood/

https://sleepfoundation.org/excessivesleepiness/content/the-complex-relationship-between-sleep-depression-anxiety

http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/how-to/stretching-benefits.php

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