5 Ways To Have A Healthy and Happy Holiday Season

5 Ways To Have A Healthy and Happy Holiday Season

With holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, no wonder it’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? I don’t know about you, but when I see a gingerbread cookie I just can’t resist having one. Okay, maybe five…

I mean, what’s not to love about the festive season?  Having a great meal with family, exchanging presents with coworkers, family and friends, watching the Time Square ball drop to welcome in the New Year.

Or maybe you just love huddling round a warm, cozy fire on Christmas Eve with your family while wearing your favorite pajamas and watching your favorite Christmas movies. Whatever your favorite things are to do during the holidays, it’s usually a very busy time of the year, which can bring on loads of daily stress causing many people to change their focus.

5 Ways To Have A Healthy and Happy Holiday Season

5 Ways To Have A Healthy and Happy Holiday Season

There’re work parties, travel plans, and Christmas shopping, and we don’t prioritize our health and day to day nutrition. Many unhealthy elements of the holiday season are disguised as joys such as gingerbread cookies, fruit cake, Christmas ham, parties, late nights, cocktails, and lack of food planning.

So here are FIVE simple strategies you can minimize the damage you do to your body during the Holiday season, but guaranteeing a more joyful January.

1. It’s All About Balance

If you’re going to a Christmas party in the evening, eat light but nutritious food during the day (Click here to learn more about sample menus from the NIH). Think smoothies and salads. This can create balance with your overall intake as it’s the total sum of what you’re eating that really counts. You can have your cake and eat it too if you look for ways to create balance during the festive season.  And if time permits, get your workout done earlier in the day so you can enjoy the evening festivities.

2. Hydration is Key

Be smart and drink lots and lots of water. We’re often eating quite a few dehydrating foods, or drinking more alcohol than normal over the Christmas and New Year period. Drinking more water will help you stay hydrated and flush out all those toxins.

And for all of you who have to travel by plane this year the low humidity environment on a plane can really dry you out and increase your risk of catching a cold or the flu. If you already carry a water bottle with you wherever you go don’t leave it at home while you’re traveling. Fill up right before your flight. That little 6-ounce cup of water the airline gives you isn’t nearly enough.

3. Keep Moving

There’s no doubt that finding time over the holidays to exercise is more difficult than usual, but my best advice is to keep moving even if it’s just for 15 minutes a day, and be creative about it. For example, if it’s December, try doing 31 Christmas squats and push-ups for every day in December.

And if you are stuck in front of the computer working, remember to get up and move around every hour.  If you have to travel to see family, making sure you stop every hour or two to walk around and move is super important.  Sitting for too long is not good for you. Even a little bit of exercises isn’t enough to offset sitting all day long.

Finding the time to do these little challenges is a great way to stay on top of your festive fitness.

4. Be Realistic

We all know that indulging during the holiday season is inevitable, so it’s necessary to keep your health and well-being goals over this time realistic. This might mean re-assessing your eating and fitness routines and to make sure they’re working for you. And plan to get your workouts in before you indulge!

5. Treat Yourself

The holiday spirit’s about helping others around you, but you also have to make time to take care of yourself. Holidays can be a stressful time, so make sure you’re taking care of yourself over the next few months, and take a minute to think about what your best stress relieving techniques are. If you can’t think of any that’s your first clue that there’s a problem.

If your usual stress relief is either hitting the gym, walking on the beach, or attending a yoga class and you’ve fallen behind on time, try a simple 10-minute meditationa 5-minute stretch or 10 deep breaths throughout the day. It sounds almost trivial, like what can 5 to 10 minutes a day do? A lot, actually. Don’t knock it until you’ve actually given it a shot. If you think you don’t have time for 10 to 15 minutes to focus on stress relief, then you probably need 20. So, when it comes to holiday festivities, remember you can be a little naughty and still end up on the nice list.

When it comes to staying healthy, it’s essential to find a balance and fit some exercise in where you can. But most importantly, don’t beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon. You can always jump back on in in the New Year.

So there you have it, I’ve given you five easy strategies you can implement this holiday season, so you can do your part in staying healthy.

Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas. I hope you have a holiday that fills your heart with joy.

If you would like to learn more about what you can do to stay healthy during the holidays, give us a call at 760-503-4440 or click on the button below to inquire about cost and availability to help you stay happy and healthy this holiday season and into the new year.

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Latest posts by Oscar Andalon, DPT, STC, MTC, CSCS, CF-L1, MWOD, USAW, FMS/SFMA (see all)

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