Feeling Great: Healthy ways to see in the New Year

Playing family board games is good for your health.
Playing family board games is good for your health.

New Year’s Eve: endless glasses of crisp champagne, great music and the perfect outfit. Yeah right.

In reality, it’s usually noisy house parties, copious amounts of alcohol, drunken karaoke - and, ah yes, the infamous hangover on New Year’s Day.

Is that really how you want to celebrate the end of 2017 and welcome in a new year?

If you’re anything like me, I know I’d rather wake up feeling fresh New Year’s Day than nursing a hangover.

While it might be too late to plan a wellness getaway somewhere relaxing, or a spa weekend, you can still make alternative arrangements to squeeze in something different for New Year so you begin 2018 feeling energised and refreshed.

Here are some healthy ways to do exactly that:

1. Try new recipes: If cooking is the way you want to spend New Year’ Eve – whether you are hosting a party or just want to enjoy a quiet night in with your partner or family, alternatives to the traditional buffet and finger food are a necessity.

Vicki found some great recipes online the other day and is thinking of trying out a spicy apple, date, and cheese dip that is perfect for dipping fruits and vegetables.

If there’s a hearty recipe you’ve always wanted to try, take this opportunity to do it! Put on some good music and aprons, and enjoy making memories as you cook your way into the New Year.

2. Go bowling and watch a movie: This one is fun. Swap your heels for a pair of jeans and bowling shoes, reserve a lane and have fun with family and friends by challenging them to a game of bowling.

And if you want to make a day out of it, why not watch a movie after too. Plus, bowling is counted as a fun form of exercise after all.

3. Mix up some healthy cocktails: If you can’t resist seeing the New Year in without a drink in hand, you can still do it in the healthiest way possible making your very own healthy cocktails using fresh fruits and juices.

Not only will making your own fruit cocktails ensure you are getting some nutrients and antioxidants with your alcohol, but the process of making your cocktails will help to slow down your drinking. You can make them non-alcoholic too!

4. Play family board games: This one’s perfect if you fancy a nice, quiet family night in.

And get this, research has actually found have that having strong ties to family and friends can help you live longer, so why not boost your health this New Year’s Eve with a bit of family bonding?

OK, I get board games may be a little bit cheesy, but they can also be a whole lot of fun and a great way to get the whole family involved. Try not to get too competitive though – we want everyone still on speaking terms once the clock strikes midnight!

5. Pamper yourself and friends: To help get your healthy intentions off to a great start, how about hosting a pamper night? Rather than the usual drinks and a buffet, get all your close friends round for a spot of pampering.

You can stock up on facemasks, provide healthy snacks such as vegetable crudités and dips, and serve your guests’ healthy smoothies and mocktails.

6. Countdown and hit the hay: Whether you’ve got kids or not, counting down to midnight sounds like a good plan. You can stay up and watch the new year celebrations from the comfort of your living room, and then go straight to sleep (or sleep before!), facing 2018 well-rested and ready to jump on those resolutions.

How are you going to be spending your New Years Eve? Have a safe one! And most importantly, enjoy celebrating 2017.

l Planning on getting healthier for 2018? Get tips to help, read Paul’s book The Healthy Habit: www.thehealthyhabitbook.com/ Essential reading to help people aged 50+ maintain an independent and active life.