The festive period is often a time to overindulge and before you know it, you’ve added a few extra pounds in these colder months. But wouldn’t it be nice to ‘balance out’ what we eat and drink with gentle, regular physical activity – and go in to the new year in good shape? Sidonie Sakula-Barry from our Health Information Team shares how.
Unhealthy festive habits
There are lots of traditions during the holiday period. Many are to do with food – you can’t go through December without being offered a mince pie (and sometimes as early as November!), along with some mulled wine and a few chocolates for good measure. Frustratingly, all these festive foods tend to be the unhealthy ones.
Importance of energy balance
But as our latest report, Energy balance and body fatness – the determinants of weight gain, overweight and obesity, highlights, it’s important to balance how much energy we put in our bodies, through what we eat and drink, with how much energy we use up, through physical activity, in order to stay in shape. This is important because overweight and obesity is a cause of 12 common cancers – after not smoking, being a healthy weight is the most important way to protect yourself against cancer.
If you’re like me and can’t resist festive feasting, then keeping active in December is the best way to ensure energy balance. Not only will keeping active help you to be a healthy weight, it will also help protect against bowel, breast and womb cancers.
A new holiday tradition
Here at World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF)’s London office, we’re starting a new holiday tradition with an Active Advent Calendar. There's a different active routine for each of the 24 days leading up to Christmas Day – they are nice and short, and ideal for fitting into a lunch break.
Try it yourself
We chose these exercises because they’re simple enough for almost anyone to do and easy to fit in to a daily routine. Download our Active Advent Calendar today and join us!
Merry Fitmas from everyone here at WCRF