The holidays are a great time to enjoy the company of family, friends, and lots of new memories. On the other hand, they aren’t always compatible with a healthy lifestyle. What does it mean to be healthy during the holidays? It’s very easy to slack on the healthy eating and exercise that we usually maintain. Christmas is notably a time to indulge, but don’t let this provide allowance to overindulge!
Slammed together, all the festive parties, family functions and even the stress the holidays can bring, can mean a huge blow to our overall well-being from November to New Year’s. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Fortunately, you can still enjoy all the festivities of the holidays and get through the Christmas period without to much negative impact on your health and waistline.
Continue reading and learn my top 6 tips for a healthier holiday season…
Don’t sit down all day
Conventionally, every Christmas special under the sun will be aired on the TV, even weeks prior to the holidays. I’m not saying to discard your television from your living room or not to reminisce on the Home Alone series.
But try to encourage your family to go out for a walk at some point – ideally, after dinner to aid digestion. The more activities you perform as a family, the better. A great way to do this is by taking out any new outdoor gifts like bikes, scooters, footballs, and spending time breaking them in.
Limit the booze
It isn’t uncommon to have bottles of wine and other favorable alcoholic beverages on the scene during the holidays. Actually, a little alcohol consumption — for those who par-take — may actually help to reduce some stress and maintain a positive moral through the sometimes stressful atmosphere of ones entire family.
But the holidays are usually an excuse for people to overindulge in drinking, leading to bloating and weight gain. A better strategy would be to follow up an alcoholic drink with a glass of water. And keeping yourself moving throughout the day to burn additional calories. So, do try to keep an account on how much you are drinking, and intersperse alcoholic drinks with good ole H2O.
Stuffing is for the turkey, not your stomach
Recent studies suggests that we consume around 5-7,000 calories on Christmas day – more than the entire recommended daily intake for men and three times the RDA for women!
This caloric spike not only contributes to weight gain but also to indigestion and heartburn. Additionally, this instant caloric surplus causes most people to be still for the rest of the day, reducing the chances of you burning any extra calories. Instead of devouring tons of food by yourself at Christmas dinner, try to consume a normal-sized meal and then take a 20-minute break to see if you are still hungry. Most likely, you’ll realize you’ve had enough.
The holidays are usually a time of abundance. There are different type of foods, desserts, candies, chocolates, pies, etc. I know it would probably sound like blasphemy to suggest not eating any goodies over the holiday season! But rather than mindlessly indulging in every sugary treat that crosses your path, take a moment of self inventory and really decide whether you really want it, or are just eating it because it’s available.
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Try to limit stress
Typically the holiday season is for joy, family, and building memories. But jolly is the last thing some people may feel due to overspending, cooking, cleaning and keeping a good family image.
One of the simplest ways to mange the stress that could come with the different aspects of the holiday season is to keep a sense of humor. It is not the end of the world if the turkey is overcooked or if the blinds are a bit dusty. Don’t let your parents get under your skin so bad that it brings you out of character and evokes a negative response.
Remember, the holiday season lasts for a short period of time and it’s best to have a nonchalant attitude to minimize your stress levels and help you get through the holidays with a full set of hair.
Eat lots of fruit
Let’s be honest, most of us have been hearing the benefits of fruits and vegetables since we were in diapers. It just doesn’t settle well on the Christmas menu, especially in comparison wit eggnog and or chocolate chip cookies.
But as much as we love late night festivities, overindulging and partying, it’s imperative that you consume an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals, to help you stay in good health.
Ensure that your Christmas shopping list is loaded with different kinds of fruit and veggies in order to get your recommended daily portions of fruit and veg.
Do Something For Others
The western world has overtaken Christmas and completely monetized every aspect of it so much; it’s hard to avoid the excess consumerism. Christmas doesn’t all have to be about receiving gifts. Try to do something for others this holiday season, whether it’s bringing a home cooked meal to your neighbor, or donating gifts to a local charity.
Acts of service is a great way to release dopamine, a chemical released in the brain that makes you feel good. Having the right amount of dopamine is important both for your body and your brain. During the stressful holiday season, increasing dopamine levels can help to alleviate tensions that come with all the festivities.
The holiday season is typically a time to celebrate and be filled with joy. But for others, its nothing but a wave of stress that they have to endure. The combination of joyful festivities and high stress usually lead to unhealthy behavior.
By maintaining your physical and mental health with some of the simple tips in this article, you’ll be able to survive the holiday season and start the new year off strong.
No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other licensed clinician.
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