Staying Healthy Over The Holidays
Our health is our greatest asset. We only get one body and mind; it should be our top priority to take care of them. This time of year can easily become an excuse to neglect our health; however, there is always time to better yourself. It may not feel that way this time of year, but try to consistently incorporate the habits in this week’s blog to stay healthy over the holidays this season.
Frequent hand washing: We have learned over the past two years how important it is to wash our hands. This simple act alone can minimize so many viruses. Germs travel a lot easier than you may believe. Just think about everything that you touch during the day: car door handles, door knobs, money, phones, etc. We spend every second of every day touching things to then touch even more things. Be sure that you are washing your hands when you get home, after you use the bathroom, before you eat, and any other time you feel is necessary. Wash for at least 20 seconds.
Moderation is key: It is always good to treat yourself every once in a while. There is a saying that one hamburger will not make you unhealthy, much like one salad won’t make you healthy. Take this analogy and use it to remind yourself that it is okay to spoil yourself with your guilty pleasure every once in a while. The important thing is that you do not over indulge too much.
Look for healthy alternatives to your favorite dishes: There are alternatives for almost anything that you can imagine. There are organic, low sodium, low carb, gluten free, and many more alternatives to day to day ingredients that you may use. With this in mind, find some of your favorite recipes and discover alternate ways you can make them healthier. Trust me, they will be just as, if not more, delicious and they’ll be healthier for you too.
Add more veggies: In previous blogs, we mentioned the importance of eating the rainbow. The more colorful your plate is, the more vitamins and nutrients you will get. Eating vegetables is the easiest and only way to eat the rainbow. Simply gather all of the veggies that you enjoy, try to pick one from every color. Then throw them all into a salad or other diverse recipe and enjoy!
Stock up on healthy snacks: Your snack decisions can really make or break your diet. There are many different people that eat healthy meals, but tend to consume the most unhealthy snacks. Doing this can be counterproductive to your goals because more often than not, common snacks are full of sodium and carbs. That being said, look for snacks that fit into your nutrition goals and try to stick to those instead of reaching for highly processed options.
Don’t skip exercise: Some people might not feel comfortable going back to the gym or may feel like there’s no time to exercise. Luckily we can find hundreds of online workout programs that can be completed from the convenience of our homes with little to no equipment. Some are even free. More often than not, these workout videos can take anywhere from 10-45 minutes and they will leave you feeling energized and less stressed.
Choose homemade over processed foods: There is a sense of accomplishment that comes with making your own meals. If you really take the time to prep your meals and enjoy them mindfully, you will be left feeling more grateful as well as nourished. Consuming fast and processed foods can lead to you feeling sluggish and bloated. Whereas consuming the right foods can leave you feeling light hearted and energized.
Eat breakfast: We all know how important breakfast is—it’s the meal that fuels the beginning to everyday. Developing a habit to eat breakfast everyday is one of the best habits one can stick to because you are providing your body with the energy it needs to tackle the rest of your day efficiently.
Choose healthier options at holiday parties: Holiday parties are some of the best events of the year, especially when it comes to food and drinks. Due to this, many people struggle to remain on track. One of the best ways to combat this is to eat before the party. That way you go there on a full stomach. Hydrate between cocktails and try to avoid sugary drinks. Set a limit for yourself on how many sweets you’ll eat. Make sure you have your dancing shoes on to burn off some of those extra calories!
Manage stress: Everyone manages stress differently: yoga, mediation, running, reading, journaling. The important thing is to find what works best for you. Really ask yourself, “what makes me feel good?” Begin to then incorporate that into your daily routine. By adding a simple stress management activity into your day, you will find yourself not only with less stress, but also with an overall healthier lifestyle.
Get back on track: A good rule of thumb is to never skip a habit for more than a day. It is okay to take a day off every once in a while, but the longer you wait to get back on track, the harder it will become. So be aware that everyone deserves a break, but don’t make that break any longer than it has to be.