by Victoria E. Robben
This Holiday Season, give yourself the gift of health and wellness with these tips:
1. Stay Active- Find opportunities to move around whenever you can. Stretch before (and after) sitting down to a long meal, drive or flight. If you’re going to be away from a gym, bring running shoes, an exercise band or a workout video with you or borrow any equipment available.
2. Don’t skip meals- Going into any holiday food situation in a starved state is not a good idea. Eating a snack before a party can be a great strategy to keep you from being vulnerable to tempting foods.
3. Bring your own healthy contribution- Bringing some fruit or vegetable crudités to a party will ensure you have a favorable option available. If staying with a relative or friend, go grocery shopping for healthy snacks for yourself and stock up on what you’ll need for while you’re there. If you’re cooking, try healthier recipes or use less of the “bad” stuff (less salt, less butter, less sugar, 2% instead of whole milk, etc).
4. Get real- Accept that you’re going to consume some extra calories and just be aware of what you’re eating. Make a conscious decision to splurge on your favorite dishes or treats and say “no thanks” or “maybe later” to the rest. Eat the rich foods that you choose slowly and enjoy the special occasion.
5. Stay Hydrated- Don’t forget to drink as much water as usual… and then some! Holiday factors such as air travel, drinking, salty foods and caffeine (from coffee, soda, chocolate and many over-the-counter medicines) can cause and contribute to dehydration. Water also helps fill you up and will inhibit those extra couple bites of something with higher caloric content.
6. Be Positive- Relax and decide to have a happy holiday season! Come back to yourself and get some alone time when you need to. Do your best to get some sun- yes it is cold out but put on something warm and spend time outside getting air. Consult with your physician and consider a supplement of omega-3, vitamin D and/or a good B-complex if you think a deficiency might be bringing down your mood.
7. Go for a walk- Do this on your own to clear your head and get some space, or with a relative or friend to get some fresh air as you catch up. Getting out and enjoying some sun and air will be a nice change of pace from all the sedentary indoor activities of the Holidays. Consider picking up some healthy foods while you’re out and about.
8. Stay Rested-Try to get as close to your normal amount of sleep as possible. If you miss a few hours of sleep at some point during the week, try to find time to make it up soon after.
9. Start winding down as close to your normal bed-time as you can. Eat less (and less substantial foods) as it gets later in the evening. Digestion tends to interfere with sleep and late-night eating contributes to weight gain.
10. Enjoy family, friends and good cheer!
Happy Holidays from BreakThrough Physical Therapy.
Victoria E. Robben is a freelance writer and marketing consultant for BreakThrough Physical Therapy.