Tips for Staying Healthy During the Holidays
It’s the beginning of November, which means the holiday season is just around the corner. It can be difficult to focus on your health and well-being during such a busy time of year, but, there are small steps you can take to ensure you stay active, relaxed, and don’t over-indulge.
- Stick with your everyday routines. This can be hard when you’re traveling or busy hosting family or friends who come to visit. But while you are taking care of others, you can’t forget to take care of yourself. If you have a set time that you exercise every day, do everything in your power to stick to that routine. Even if you’re traveling, take a touristy walk to help burn some calories and explore. If you’re staying with family, go for long walks with your loved ones and take your dog! Play catch with your nieces and nephews instead of playing video games with them. Play outside with family pets. These small differences will have more benefits than you might think. Search YouTube for some quick workout videos. There are so many ways to stay in shape even when you are out of town. Also, many hotels offer fitness centers and heated pools.
- Make healthy food decisions. Did you know that Americans gain an average of 12 pounds over the holiday season? Of course, you can treat yourself – have some pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, a glass of wine. Just don’t overdo it. Don’t have that second piece of Grandma’s famous fudge, one piece will do just fine. Smaller portions are key. You can still treat yourself, without letting it get out of hand. You will feel better in the end that you didn’t overindulge.
- Stay hydrated. Sure, you can have a nice glass of wine on Thanksgiving, but once again, don’t overdo it. You want to feel your best when seeing friends and family during the holidays and one way to ensure that is to hydrate. Drinking plenty of water will keep you looking and feeling your best. With high calorie filled eggnog and alcohol, you will need water to keep your body functioning properly.
- Don’t forget self-care. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be overwhelming. Traveling can be hard on the body, and sometimes spending so much time with family can be stressful. Don’t be afraid to say “No” to any obligations that might be too taxing. If there are events you must attend that may cause you stress, have an escape plan to limit the time you are there and arrange your own transportation home ahead of time. Whatever you do to de-stress – yoga, massages, meditation, exercise, nightly baths – find ways to continue these restorative pleasures.
- Get enough sleep. It can be hard during the chaotic holidays to get enough rest. Lack of sleep will make you want to eat more, dampen your mood and prevent you from having enough energy to get in a good workout. It may also cause memory problems, a weakening of your immune system and an increase perception of pain. Set time aside before bedtime to relax to help ease into sleep. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep although some may need as few as 6 or as many as 10 hours. Make sure you are getting your quality hours of sleep which allows REM cycles every night! It’s essential for optimal health.
- Wash your hands frequently. No one wants to get sick, ever, but especially during the holiday season. During the holidays, you are shaking hands, giving and getting hugs and kisses, which means there is potential for lots of germs. Make sure to wash your hands often, especially before you eat. Carry hand sanitizer with you if you aren’t near a sink. Hand-washing is a simple way to keep healthy any time of the year.
- Have a cup of tea in the morning instead of coffee. Although coffee has health benefits as well, tea has a lot of antioxidants, which will help keep you healthy. Herbal teas with antibacterial and antiviral properties will help you ward off sickness during this time of year.
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It’s okay to indulge during the holidays, but don’t completely fall off the wagon. Have that piece of pumpkin pie, but maybe walk around to look at holiday lights instead of taking a drive. Just because you are traveling does not mean you can’t stick to your health and wellness routines. There are many ways to exercise and be active apart from your local gym. Don’t forget about your mental well-being during this time either. Don’t over commit. Try and remove yourself from any situations that you think might bring on stress. Holidays can be dreary for some, but simple things like watching your favorite movie can do wonders to boost your spirit. Yoga, a bath, exercise, meditation, whatever it is that means self-care to you – do it!