“The holidays” and “staying healthy” are two phrases that typically don’t go together. The average person typically gains 5 pounds during the holiday season. This is due to making countless unhealthy choices. These choices affect both physical and emotional health. You do not have to join this crowd! There are many reasons to want to choose a “healthier holiday.” Maybe you have a weight that you are trying to maintain or maybe you are preparing for an upcoming marathon and are wanting to give your body the best fuel for your challenge? Perhaps you are simply looking for a few ways to make better choices this holiday season. Whatever your reason, try some of these tips and you will be on your way towards having a healthy holiday!
1. Moderation is Key
No one wants to completely stay away from their favorite snacks and treats over the holidays. After all, that is part of the fun! However, if you are not careful, you might find that you are hovering over the buffet table a little too long and your stomach is well past full. The trick here is staying aware of what you are ingesting. Also, make sure that you still have room in your stomach so that you are not mindlessly eating! It is okay to eat your favorite items. But, do so in smaller portions! Try grabbing a smaller plate, filling it, and then finding a seat away from the food line.
2. Stay Active
This is an especially hard thing to do when the weather is cold and you just want to snuggle up, stay warm, and watch a movie. Well, don’t worry. You can do that after your workout! Staying active does not have to be something extremely intensive. Just a brisk walk or a calming yoga session will do. The goal here is to keep your blood pumping and your metabolism going. Need a little extra motivation? Try out a winter-themed sport, like sledding or ice skating. Adding family or friends makes it more fun
3. Stay Hydrated
The holidays are an unusually busy time and when schedules get busy. It is easy to forget to drink water. Many adults can go days without realizing that they have consistently chosen other drinks, like soda, coffee, or cocoa, to hydrate. Do not make this mistake. Do simple things like drinking a large glass of water as soon as you wake up. This will help to jump-start your day. You will find that the more water you drink, the more water you will want to drink! Plus, keeping your body hydrated means that you are better able to fight off bugs.
4. Focus on Fun
It’s obvious that food and festivities go together. But “that doesn’t mean food has to be the main focus. Instead, throw yourself into the other rituals a holiday brings, whether it’s caroling or tree trimming.” (https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/9-stayhealthy-tips-for-the-holidays/)
5. Manage Your Stress Levels
Stress is a huge contributor to weight gain and anxiety. Unfortunately, the holidays can be a stressful time! Your job might have you stuck working overtime or even with an understaffed team. Also, the holidays can come with an added financial stress of gifts and awkward family dynamics. Try to plan for these stressors! You can set a strict budget for yourself and set a limit on the number of family gatherings you want to attend. Self-care is quite possibly the most important factor in staying healthy over the holidays.
What if, instead of ending this holiday season bloated, tired, and drained, you ended it satisfied and refreshed? It really is possible! Try to prioritize some of these points and you might be surprised at how “easy” the holidays seem. You will find yourself ready and able to welcome in the challenge of a new year! Happy Holidays!