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  • Staying healthy over Easter

    07 April 2020

    The Easter Bunny has given the green light to deliver Easter treats this long weekend, which means South Australians are gearing up for a weekend full of Easter eggs and hot cross buns. Whilst we want you to have fun this long weekend, it’s important to make sure that ‘Easter at home’ doesn’t start bad habits that will contribute to the kilo creep, as many of us continue to work from home!

    This Easter, follow our 10 easy tips to stay healthy and look after yourself and your loved ones: 

    1. It’s ok to relax and enjoy some Easter eggs and hot cross buns this weekend, just don’t overdo it, and more importantly don’t overbuy. We're hoping that the Easter bunny got the memo that Easter gatherings are going to be smaller this year and not to put too many eggs out for children. This year we won’t be able to share eggs at large gatherings, which means that any excess eggs will be eaten by your family alone. Next week when Easter is over, any leftover eggs will be calling your name as you work from home – tempting you to turn a long weekend of enjoyment to a month-long chocolate feast.
    2. Think about fibre and eat a healthy meal or snack before treating yourself. Often chocolate eggs are the first choice over heathy alternatives. Opt for a high fibre healthy snack to fill you up first—veggie sticks and hummus, fruit, grainy crackers and cheese, dried fruit and nuts—before you turn to the chocolate snack. 
    3. Go easy on the hot cross buns. Hot cross buns contain plenty of sugar and calories, so enjoy one, but stick to only one. And opt for fruit filled rather than chocolate chip!
    4. Get active. Time is often a reason we don’t exercise, but this weekend we will have loads of it. So why not use the time to create some healthy exercise habits, especially if you’re planning on indulging in Easter treats. Whilst we are limited on the types of exercise we can do at the moment, we are still able to get outdoors to go for a walk, jog or bike ride, as long as we are maintaining social distance. Or if you prefer staying closer to home there are plenty of online resources to guide your workouts. For those with kids, the more physical activity you can fit in, the better. Why not include them in your physical activity and keep active together? Scooting, bike riding, walking, yoga, online programs outdoors that include jumps and squats, or even lounge room dance parties. They’ll love being healthy with you! Cancer Council recommends one hour of moderate intensity activity or 30 minutes of vigorous activity on five or more days a week. There will be plenty of hours to spare this Easter so there is no better time to start.
    5. Say no to sugary drinks. There will be plenty of sugar consumed through eggs, hot cross buns and other treats. There is no need to add in extra by including sugary drinks. Stick to water or sparkling water instead. 
    6. Avoid or limit alcohol this Easter. Alcohol is often part of Easter celebrations. However, it comes with significant risks— alcohol adds calories to you diet, can increase your cancer risk and is also is a depressant, so while it may help deal with stress in the short term (and we all know it is a very stressful time at the moment), in the long run it can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety and make stress harder to deal with. So this Easter saying no, may be the way to go!  Cancer Council recommends avoiding or limiting alcohol wherever possible. For tips on how to reduce your intake click here.
    7. Enjoy plenty of seafood. Seafood is one of Easter’s healthy treasures. Be sure to cook up a fish or seafood dish or two over the long weekend to enjoy. 
    8. Have kids? Request a smaller Easter Egg delivery from Easter bunny this year—and steer clear from raiding their collection!
    9. Wear active wear around the house! It's much easier to go for walks or get outside and active if you are dressed and ready to go. 
    10. Connect with friends and family virtually. With social distancing rules stopping us from having large gatherings, many of us will feel isolated this Easter. Use this opportunity to connect with family and friends via your favourite video chat tool, without the alcohol. There is no need to include alcohol in your video calls! 

    We hope you have a happy, safe and healthy Easter break at home and take care of yourself and your loved ones. 

    Nat von Bertouch 
    Cancer Council SA Dietitian 

    For more information on healthy tips and how to cut your cancer risk visit cancersa.org.au/cut-my-risk.

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