Staying Healthy Through the Holidays

Just as life was getting back to normal after summer vacation, the Holidays are already approaching!  This is a fun time of year to make memories and get together with your friends and family, but all the parties and events can get in the way of your health goals.  Here are a few tips to stay on track while enjoying the Holiday Season.

First of all, stay active. The shorter days and colder weather may make it harder to go to the gym, but stay committed!  Pick at least three days a week to work out, and schedule them on your calendar like important reminders.  Keeping up with your workouts will give you energy and help manage some of the stress that comes this time of year.  Lifting weights increases your metabolism, so include strength training in your routine.  

Take advantage of seasonal activities and plan some of your get togethers outside.  I love going to pumpkin patches, walking through corn mazes, walking around to see Christmas lights, and going skiing or sledding.   There are also a lot of fun runs, like the Turkey Trot and Jingle Bell Run, that you can do as a group, as well as volunteer opportunities to help others.    

Next, be aware that there will be treats everywhere- from Halloween candy, to Thanksgiving dinner, to Holiday parties.  Think about what you really enjoy, such as a homemade pumpkin pie or your grandmother’s fudge recipe.  It’s okay to have a serving of what you love.  You can avoid overindulging by loading up on vegetables and lean protein before you head out.  If you are at a buffet style event, try to fill half of your plate with raw vegetables.  Bring a healthy dish to share so that you know you have an option.  Other people will appreciate it as well.  Alternate a glass of water with alcoholic beverages, and try to stick to lower calorie options like wine or light beer.  Sparkling water with a slice of lime is always a great option!

Lastly, manage your stress.  Exercising and eating right will play a big role in this.  Plan for what stresses you out during the season, and how to overcome that.  If it’s finances, set a budget and stick to it.  Do some of the activities suggested above and focus on experiences rather than things.  Spend a few minutes each day thinking about what you are grateful for.  Most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself.  Be present in the moment and enjoy it!