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Five Ways To Stay Healthy During The Festive Holidays | Affinity Health

Don’t let stress, overeating, lack of sleep, and nasty viruses get you down. Affinity Health shares how you and yours can have a happy and healthy holidays.


It’s That Time of the Year Again

For most of the year, you have watched your weight, hit the gym at least three times a week. You’ve had at least eight hours of shut-eye per night, worn a facemask and socially distanced to protect yourself against COVID-19, and done everything you can to keep your stress levels in check. Why now have all those health and wellbeing steps gone out the window?


It’s just what happens – come the Christmas holidays, people sit back and watch their healthy lifestyles go up in smoke. The good news is that you can shift your bad health habits from Santa’s naughty list to Santa’s good list in no time!


Here are Affinity Health’s Five Simple Tips for Good Health All-Year Rounds:

Watch Your Diet and Eat in Moderation

When it comes to festive tables filled with yummy foods, it’s important to remember these three golden words: Everything in moderation. While the occasional treat during the festive season won’t have a shattering impact on your health, regularly overindulging in unhealthy foods will.


Focus on eating more fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein and keep bad fats (saturated and trans fats), sugary treats, and foods high in sodium to a minimum. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day and limit your caffeine and alcohol intake.


“Year-end can be very stressful for many South Africans. Learn to recognise when you’re eating in response to stress, despite not actually being hungry,” says Murray Hewlett (CEO of Affinity Health).


“Keep your kitchen stocked with wholesome, nutritious foods so you won’t be tempted to snack on chocolates, sweets, and cookies. Eat small meals during the day. This way, when dinnertime rolls around, you’re not as hungry as you would have been.”


Try to Exercise Daily or at Least Three Times A Week

Healthy eating and exercise go hand-in-hand with accountability toward weight management. Experts recommend adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity weekly, or 30 minutes most days. Walking, jogging, and swimming can all be done while respecting COVID-19 social distancing protocols.


The internet is also filled with free or low-cost cardio, yoga, and body-weight workout videos you can do from the comfort of your own home. Remember that even small amounts of physical activity do make a difference in your health, so try and get moving – even if just for a few minutes during your day.


Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is critical to good health, yet one in three adults don’t get the recommended eight hours of sleep each night. Over time, lack of sleep can lead to serious health problems and increase your risk of heart attack, asthma, and depression. Try to get enough sleep every night and try to keep a regular sleep-wake cycle (go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every day).


Keep Your Stress Levels Down

Did you know that one of the most likely times of the year to have a heart attack is on Christmas Eve? According to researchers from Lund University in Sweden, the risk of having a heart attack on Christmas Eve was 37 percent higher than any other time.


While stress is a normal part of life, one of the best things you can do for your health is to learn how to manage stress effectively. If you’re unsure of how to do this, speak to your healthcare provider or doctor, who can advise you on ways to better manage stress.


Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19

With the fourth wave predicted, it’s important that you safeguard yourself and your family against COVID-19. If you have not yet been vaccinated – or are not yet fully vaccinated – now is the time to ensure that you are.


COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases and early data from clinical trials, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine also reduces your risk of serious COVID-19 infection if you do contract COVID-19.


Aside from being vaccinated, remember to continue practicing preventive precautions, such as wearing a facemask, staying away from crowds, and washing your hands frequently.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health insurance, offering you a range of options at affordable rates including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. Our range of healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service at all times. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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