Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Healthy Tips from the Bupa Advent Calendar

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The first of December is a date much anticipated in my household, for this is the day the kids get to pop open the Number 1 square on their advent calendars. There’s something quite exciting about uncovering that numbered window, even though they know it only houses a tiny chocolate, barely the size of a button.

But advent calendars aren’t just for children. Bupa, the healthcare professionals, have devised their very own advent calendar for grownups. And since Bupa are all about helping us find healthy, this calendar provides 25 health tips for a happy, healthy festive season.

The Bupa advent calendar can be accessed online. Here you’ll find 25 different numbered squares, each hiding a daily snippet of health information.

However, unlike the real thing, you can’t cheat and sneak a look at what’s behind a future date, as they remain ‘locked’ until the relevant date arrives.

You can go back and open up all the dates that have already passed though. And in keeping with traditional advent calendars, December 25 is an extra-large rectangle.

My Impressions

December’s always such a busy month for me as it’s not just Christmas to prepare for, there are several birthday’s in my family as well. This means a whole heap of added stress and even more opportunities to snack or overindulge in too many treats.

This is where the Bupa advent calendar is so helpful. The health tips hidden behind the numbers are focussed around the sort of lifestyle events many of us experience at this time of year. For example, alcohol intake, stress and keeping active during the cold weather.

So far I've uncovered tips including healthy eating, giving up bad habits, exercise and how to de-stress when it all gets a bit too much.

Two of my favourite tips are hidden behind 5 December and 8 December.

Behind 5 December is the tip:

Pick your puddings sensibly. Whether it’s Christmas cake, trifle, cheese or a mince pie, choose one dessert rather than helping yourself to several.
 One serving of sherry trifle contains around 300 calories!

Fortunately I don’t like Christmas cake or mince pies, but trifle is a particular weakness. However, with 300 calories a serving, it’ll certainly make me think twice about overindulging.

The key here is portion size. Keep it small and stick to one small portion only. If there are any leftovers, or I’m offered another serving, I’ll just do the maths: 300 calories + another 300 calories = 600 calories that will take several hours of writing to burn off!

If you need any inspiration to get decorating or cleaning, click on 8 December: 'Deck the halls and burn calories while you decorate!' for a tip which will motivate you to get the vacuum cleaner out!

Since I'm writing this on 8 December, I'll have to wait until tomorrow to discover what lies behind the next square. That's not to say I haven’t tried clicking on it! So for the rest of the month, right up until 25 December, I’ll be opening up one square a day and doing my best to follow the healthy advice given.

Nothing is more important than our health. And while December inevitably leaves many of us feeling somewhat poorer in the pocket, following the tips on the Bupa find healthy advent calendar probably won't make us wealthy, but they may very well help us feel happy and healthy

Why don't you check out Bupa's advent calendar and share which tips you found most helpful and which tips you'll try keep to this festive season.


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