Winter health: recharge your batteries

Take advantage of the Christmas break to get your energy and sparkle back!

Try these tips to top up your feelgood factor at the busiest family time of the year:

1. Make treats special
If you're having a choccy moment make it a good one! Sweet foods are an easy way to raise levels of our mood-enhancing endorphins, however, the effects can be short-lived. If you do indulge, go for a little of a high percentage cocoa chocolate.

2. Walk every day

It's easy to stay indoors too much over the break. Change your perception of mud and go for an adventure with your wellies on – you'd be amazed how a stroll no longer seems a chore to kids if they have your permission to get horribly dirty.

3. Dress up everyday

You're not going to be up a ladder painting at Christmas… so cheer yourself up by putting on your favourite skirts for a change from leggings, or adding a special top to jeans.

4. Add colour to your festive tables

If you're splashing out on rich puddings and hearty main courses, spare some of your budget for a few irresistible fresh fruits – they look great on the table and you can just nibble as you chat (try grapes, blueberries, raspberries and cherries). Flavonoids give some fruits and vegetables their naturally colourful hues and they are powerful anti-oxidants

5. Take a nap!

Recharge your batteries with a short snooze. Set your clock for 30 minutes – this is regarded as the ideal nap length, and get your zzz's in before the day gets too late: anytime between 2pm and 5pm is best.

Savvy tip

Stress can deplete vitamin C – if the shopping, family visits and huge mealtimes are doing you in, recharge with freshly squeezed citrus juices, or keep a bowl of kiwi fruits and clementines on hand.

Pass it on – winter breakfasts for lazy holiday mornings

You don't have to do the school run, so take the time to eat well and feel great.

  • Poached egg on toast. The protein and carbohydrate mix helps keep blood sugar levels balanced).
  • Porridge. Oats are well known for helping to reduce cholesterol
  • Strawberry and mango smoothie. Whizz up a treat packed with Vitamin C .