Between work, holiday gift shopping, and running from one gathering to the next, chances are you’re self-care is headed out the window. In addition to celebration and cheer, unfortunately, it’s also a time for overindulging and illness. This isn’t the time to take on a big new fitness regimen or overhaul your diet. However, there are some simple ways to enjoy the holidays while maintaining your health. Follow these simple tips for living and eating healthy this holiday season:
Tip #1: THINK BEFORE YOU EAT
Fatty foods are a significant theme for the holidays. Cookies, cakes, and other sugary and carb-heavy goodies are everywhere you turn. When treats are easy to access, you’re more likely to snack unnecessarily. Instead, pack healthy snacks like nuts, fruit, and veggies to help avoid unhealthy bingeing. Overeating at holiday functions is sort of the norm, which can contribute to bloat and illness, so go easy on the appetizers, meats, and desserts that leave room for healthier choices. Fill half your plate with veggies and drink plenty of water, which will help with digestion. Finally, don’t force yourself to eat everything, but choose what you enjoy the most. Don’t use the holidays as an excuse to overindulge—moderation is vital.
Tip #2: Keep Moving
Finding time to exercise – especially during the holidays – is not always easy, especially with single-digit temperatures outside. To stay motivated, try to plan your workout regimen around your schedule. If you don’t have time to do a 30-minute workout, do a 15-minute workout instead. Split your physical activities into shorter, more manageable times that fit better into your schedule. For example, if you don’t have time to hit the gym, work out in the comfort of your home with apps like Nike Training Club, which features free workouts from world-class Nike Master Trainers in every exercise. No matter how you do it, try not to stop moving around the holidays—exercise helps relieve holiday stress and reduces cancer-related risks.
Tip #3: Think Before You Drink
Who doesn’t love a party? But they often come with alcohol. Here’s your friendly reminder that drinking excess, even if it’s only once in a while, can cause damage. Not only does alcohol impair your judgment, but it can cause excessive liver damage, heart problems, and even cancer. To reduce your lifetime risk of cancer, men should not consume more than two drinks per day, and women should not consume more than three drinks per week. Again, drink plenty of water, and remember, moderation is key!
Tip #4: Stress Less
Even with all the joy the holidays can bring, it can also be very stressful with family, friends, and professional obligations filling up your calendar. It’s essential to find ways to lower your stress as much as you can. Is there a day that you can sleep in? Or perhaps you can find 30 minutes in the afternoon to enjoy some alone time. A winter weeknight is the perfect chance to read that book that’s been sitting on your nightstand or just lounge around in your PJs, on your couch, and/or catch up on your favorite TV shows.
Tip #5: Get Enough Sleep
No spoiler alert here: Sleep is foundational to preserving our health and is just as crucial to good health as what you put in your body. No matter how busy your schedule becomes, it’s essential to maintain your sleep schedule during the holidays. Getting less than seven hours of sleep a night can increase the risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, as well as certain kinds of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
This post originally appeared on bewellindy.com.
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