The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration but it’s important to stay focused on one’s health. The holidays often present a unique set of obstacles, from eating well to staying active and managing stress. In this article, we will explore some easy tips for you to not only stay healthy during the holiday season but also to ensure that you enjoy the season to the fullest. Now let’s dive in.
Tip #1: Eat Well
During the holidays, it’s important to continue eating well. There are a variety of foods available during the holidays, and it’s important to make healthy choices. This includes continuing to eat healthier foods while enjoying some other foods in moderation.
Here are some tips to help you make better food choices during the holidays:
- Fill your plate with fruits and vegetables first: These foods not only add flavor but also provide essential nutrients.
- Choose smaller portions: This allows you to enjoy a variety of foods without overeating.
- Balance treats with healthy foods: Opt for a colorful array of natural healthy foods, and consider limiting the consumption of rich, indulgent foods.
- Monitor your salt intake: If you enjoy savory foods, consider adding flavor by using small amounts of salt substitutes, such as Mrs. Dash.
- Be aware of how much you’re eating along with your hydration levels.
By practicing mindful eating and making smart food choices, you can savor the holiday season while maintaining a healthy balance in your diet.
Tip #2: Exercise
Staying active during the holiday season is crucial for maintaining overall health and managing stress. Incorporating exercise into your holiday activities can be both fun and beneficial.
According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults should try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, even during the holidays. This breaks down to 30 minutes a day, 5 days per week. Moderate aerobic exercising includes activities such as brisk or fast walking, biking, swimming and mowing the lawn.
To help you achieve this, here are some tips to help you exercise during the holidays:
- Remember that regular exercise is important – so getting into the habit of getting even a little exercise daily can be helpful.
- Include exercise in your holiday activities, like going for family walks or joining holiday-themed fun runs.
Exercising during the holidays is not only good for your health but can also be a great way to spend time with family and friends.
Tip #3: Sleep Well
Getting enough sleep is important for your health and for managing stress during the holidays. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep is essential for a balanced mood, weight control, and reduced stress, among numerous other benefits for warding off sickness, disease, and health problems.
Here are some tips to help you sleep well during the holidays:
- Make your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool (ideally between 60- and 67-degrees Fahrenheit).
- Finish eating and drinking 2-3 hours before bedtime.
- Spend time outside every day.
- Exercise every day.
It’s important to respect your body and prioritize sleep, as good sleep will help you be at your best, have energy, and enjoy the holiday season as much as possible.
Tip #4: Manage Stress
The holiday season is joyful, but for some it may cause stress and anxiety. Common sources of holiday stress might include the pressure of coordinating family gatherings, managing gift lists, and the financial burden of the season.
This stress can have a significant impact on mental and physical health. According to the American Psychiatric Association, nearly one in three Americans expects to be more stressed during the holiday season than last year.
Here are some tips to help you manage stress during the holidays:
- Practice mindfulness and meditation.
- Stay organized and set realistic expectations for holiday activities.
- Maintain healthy relationships with family members.
- Prioritize your mental well-being and ask for help if needed.
The holidays also can be dangerous due to increased risk of heart attack and stroke. It’s crucial to take proactive steps to prevent stress or depression during the holiday season, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past.
Tip #5: Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated during the holiday season is important for your overall health and well-being. During the busy holiday season, it’s easy to forget the importance of proper hydration. Dehydration can lead to headaches, fatigue, and even weight gain.
To help you, here are some tips to help you stay properly hydrated:
- Drink water before eating more food.
- Keep a reusable water bottle with you.
- Choose water-based holiday drinks, like peppermint tea.
- Start the day with a glass of water and a hydrating smoothie for breakfast.
- Drink a glass of water before eating holiday treats.
By following these tips, you can stay hydrated and healthy during the holidays.
During the holiday season, it’s important to take care of your health. By eating well, exercising, sleeping well, managing stress, and drinking enough water, you can enjoy the holidays and stay healthy. Remember to be kind to yourself and ask for help if needed. Have a happy and healthy holiday season!