Healthy lifestyle tips to observe during festive holidays

By Kamara Daniel

Exercise is a key aspect of maintaining the normal synergy for the general well-being of the body towards the continued eradication of risk factors for non-communicable diseases. People in festive seasons tend to relax a lot and forget that the food taken in this festive season is too much and the body needs to break it down for proper usage and not storing excess that would lead to weight gain, overweight, obesity and insulin resistance in the long run.

People can time their exercise routinely to maintain a normal catch-up, like early morning, late evening and mid-day.

I recommend people to do simple exercise at least 30 minutes 3-5 times a week o that they remain healthy and achieve the best goals. Exercises that are simple, sustainable and feasible like walking, Participating in agriculture since people are travelling to villages,  jogging, washing laundry rather than maids and house helpers, and house chores where you sweat and feel the impact of the exercise.

I also recommend sex. People in this long festive season should have enough quality sex. This is a big exercise that burns calories and excess body fat.

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Quality sleep is important for the normal functioning of the body at least 7-9 hours a night, especially the brain, this is because sleep is essential for the body to relax and feel good and maintain the normal circadian rhythm without optimizing it.

Avoid interruptions to proper sleeping such as blue lights, taking caffeine products before bedtime, carbonated beverages, eating a lot and sleeping immediately food may regurgitate back and disturb your quality of sleep, avoid or reduce the intake of substances like alcohol and smoking, these may reduce the quality of sleep and lead to different health conditions that affect the brains proper functioning thus leading to early ageing, hormonal imbalance, insulin resistance and other physiological body changes may be altered.

Good sleep is important for relaxing and processing the body’s hormones, it can also enhance the body’s processes to take place and foods rich in vitamin D are found to increase sleep quality and quantity.

Sleep benefits belong to the owner as a way to relieve stress, feel refreshed and new, and also make the person rekindle their lifestyle.

Vitamin D foods include fish, tuna, salmon, pork, chicken and mushrooms. The liver is the main organ for major body processes that mark the general physiology.

Eating foods that are liver-friendly, means eating a balanced diet and following a healthy eating plate that ensures the elimination of fatty liver diseases and other conditions that may cause the liver to malfunction.

A few factors like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, sleep apnea, diabetes type 2, obesity, and high levels of triglycerides can easily affect the liver and lead to Fatty liver disease.

Foods that are friendly to the liver must be a healthy eating plate, ensuring the plate comprises of ½ vegetables and fruits, ¼ proteins of animal and plant, especially lean meat if animals are considered, ¼ of carbohydrates to fully maximize and use these carbohydrates, a person must take what can be fully utilized rather being stored as excess that may lead to other complications.

Antioxidants are foods that neutralize the free radicals that are potentially harmful to cause cancer. Anti-oxidant-rich foods are important to take up the free radicals that are obtained from foods eaten. They do a scavenging role to find out the free radicals and consume them.

In this holiday people eat a lot of foods that may have free radicals these can predispose people to get cancers, of which they aren’t aware.

Anti oxidants are important to manage oxidative stress that may potentially be harmful to eyes causing cataracts, joints causing arthritis, heart causing hypertension and so much more on different body parts affected.

Anti oxidants-rich foods include vitamins C and E, plentiful of vegetables and fruits, lycopene found in tomatoes, and carrots, selenium found in nuts and seeds, and flavonoids found in vegetables.

Balancing blood sugars simply means the maintenance of the body’s glucose in normal ranges that are important to keep the body’s energy. Importance includes keeping your blood sugar normal, preventing surges, and creating a room for exercise that prevents overweight, obesity and excess body calories.

It also establishes a group of normal body systems and proper hormone functions among others.

Blood sugars can be balanced by eating timely, ensuring portion control, proper meal schedules, eating in need, moderation and keeping in mind the meal swapping that are key for example, swapping off cake and biscuits for fruits and vegetables for salads would keep your glycaemic load maintained rather a glyceamic index shooting.

Alcohol especially red wine is good for the heart, not exceeding at least 2 medium glasses a day.  However knowing that the impact of alcohol is much more compared to the benefits, we should rather revamp to organic porridges in such festive season rather than these highly processed alcoholic beverages on the market that suddenly hit and attack the liver, causing the gut leaky syndrome and also affect kidneys,

It’s important to consider taking juices, smoothies, dairy products like milk that are locally made, and Local bushera that is fermented, like enturire, these provide actual calories, provide probiotics and maintain the satiety levels other than empty calories found in modern alcohol that is brewed.

Alcohol is potentially harmful to the body and excess depends on the level of hormones that work on this alcohol, age of person, if elderly and youth, sex especially females are let down faster by alcohol compared to men, alcohol on an empty stomach, people who take alcohol when satisfied tend not to be drunk faster than the ones who take it on empty stomach.

Several factors determine how worse different individuals behave and how the deterioration will be.

Generally, alcohol destroys the gut physiology leading to leaky gut syndrome, damaging the liver leading to liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, and depriving the sex hormones thus reducing sexual performance, alcohol damages the brain leading to different changes, and other dangers range from physiological, social, mental, environmental and others. The obvious one is death in return.

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I recommend them to eat whole foods, eat and maintain a healthy eating plate, ensure portion control; follow an eating pyramid, and know the foods that are most needed by the body so as you avoid excess calories. I recommend them to maintain the best cooking methods despite having all foods, ensure cooking methods are healthy and natural, organic and frying is made a by the way or a complete no zone.

Exercise remains mandatory since people are on holiday and they are chilling with relatives and in-laws. It is key to be sure that the body maintenance of shape and size is yours and therefore you remain with the powers to do so.

Healthy eating remains key and important even amidst the disruptions of many foods and family contexts. Remember your plate holds power, You are what you eat. Don’t let the festive season ruin your dietary lifestyle.

Kamara Daniel is a Clinical & Community Nutritionist, at Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre Kampala

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