The holiday season is almost here, and with it comes many things to see and do: participating in fun, festive events, spending time with loved ones and friends, preparing and eating large meals and tasty desserts, and shopping for all the best deals. However, the holidays can also bring about more sickness, stress, and unhealthy eating. Read on to learn how to eat well, reduce stress, stay active, avoid getting sick, and stay healthy this holiday season.
- Exercise daily. Doing at least one activity that gets you moving is a must. Even if you only have a few minutes to spare, exercising a few minutes a day is better than not exercising at all.
- Be prepared to work out outside of your routine. With all the activities and chaos happening this time of year, being flexible makes all the difference.
- Find opportunities in your everyday routine. If you cannot head to the gym, there are still many ways to stay active. Examples include parking further away from buildings, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and going on a short walk at work.
- Watch your portions. Whether you’re eating at a party, a family get-together, or at home, keep this rule in mind: make half your plate fruits and vegetables, one-quarter of grains, and one-quarter of protein.
- Stay hydrated. In colder weather, it’s easy to forget to drink plenty of water. Throughout the day, drink water as often as you can. Limit your intake of high-calorie drinks such as alcohol, eggnog, soda, and juice.
- Eat fruits and vegetables. Not only are they good sources of vitamins and minerals and low in calories, but fruits and vegetables help keep your immune system strong.
- Don’t overeat. The holidays are full of many types of delicious food, and it is all too easy to overindulge. To combat this, determine how much food you wish to eat beforehand and stop eating when full. Adopt the 80/20 or 90/10 rule: eat healthy 80 to 90 percent of the time and unhealthy 10 to 20 percent.
- Wash your hands. The holidays also mark cold and flu season, which means germs are everywhere. Washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water is a fantastic way to clean up.
- Get plenty of sleep. It cannot be overstated how important quality sleep is for your body. Sleep is a refreshing and relaxing activity that allows your mind and body to be at their best. Tiredness can lead to low energy, increased stress, and unhealthy eating; get at least seven hours of sleep every night.
- Bundle up. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing – light, warm layers, gloves, hats, scarves, and waterproof boots – to help your body feel great.
- Practice food safety. Thoroughly clean utensils and surfaces often, cook foods to recommended temperatures and properly store perishable foods.
- Practice good dental hygiene. During the holidays, eating lots of tasty food and sweets can affect your oral health. Be sure to brush your teeth for at least two minutes every day, floss once a day, and use mouthwash/rinse to get rid of bad breath.
- Travel safely. Whether you’re traveling to visit loved ones or going to fun activities, it’s essential to stay alert while going places. Watch the weather to ensure safe travels, wear your seatbelt, and avoid drinking and driving or getting a ride from someone who may have been drinking.
- Make time for self-care. With everything happening this time of year, it’s easy to put your needs on the back burner; don’t. Take some time off to relax and unwind – watch your favorite movie or TV show, read a book, meditate, listen to music, go for a walk, etc. Do at least one thing every day that makes you happy.
- Plan ahead. Create a thoughtful plan based on all the activities and things you have going on during the holiday season. This way, you can stay busy while simultaneously enjoying all the festivities.
- Let go of perfection. The holiday season is about spending time with loved ones, participating in fun activities, and celebrating faiths and traditions. If something doesn’t get done, let it go. What matters is enjoying the holidays and making memories to last a lifetime.