Staying on track with your health goals can be a real challenge during the holiday season.
If the short days and frigid temperatures didn’t kill all of your motivation, those office potluck parties and all-you-can-eat get-togethers make it tough to stay focused on your regular routine.
Superior Med offers the following suggestions on staying healthy during the holidays:
- Keep moving: Although it’s cozier inside by the fireplace, it’s important to make time to get some exercise amid all the parties and family time. Keep going to the gym, getting in a brisk walk or getting on the treadmill or exercise equipment at home. Try to get at least 2 ½ hours of exercise each week.
- Bring healthy options: You know others will bring the carbs and sweet treats, so try to bring some vegetables and fruits to the party. Fill half of your plate with healthy choices.
- Watch stress levels: There’s no doubt – the holidays can be quite stressful. Give yourself a break if you start to feel overwhelmed. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and accept help from others.
- Keep your hands clean: During flu season, it’s important to wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- It’s OK to treat yourself: Don’t deny yourself every goodie at the dessert table if you are craving sweets. Savor each bite, then look for a healthier option the next time you get a snack.
- Limit alcohol consumption: Drink mostly zero-calorie options such as water, tea or seltzer, rather than the holiday-themed drinks. Alcohol can lead to poor food choices, as well as provide excessive calories. If you decide to have the Christmas Ale, alternate each drink with a glass of water.
- Get flu shot: Getting immunized helps protect against disease. You’ll be indoors with a lot of people who may not have received the flu shot, so getting the vaccine helps minimize your risk.
- Learn to say no: Just because your in-law made a triple-layer chocolate peanut butter cookie bar, it doesn’t mean you need to eat it (maybe just a bite). Learn to politely say no to food pushers.
- Remember fire safety: The holidays are popular times for candles, fireplaces and space heaters. Keep candles in high-traffic areas so you don’t forget to extinguish them. Turn off and unplug heaters when not in use and keep an eye on fireplaces.
- Keep guilt at bay: It’s OK if you don’t have the perfect diet or exercise routine during this busy time of year. Just remember to not let the slip-up last the whole month. Get back to your regular routine as quickly as possible.