Staying Healthy During the Holidays

It’s that time of year again. The holidays are an exciting time of year, filled with festivities, family and friends. But the season can also prove to be a distraction from healthy habits that are formed throughout the year. Here are some suggestions to help keep on track during this busy time.

Try to keep a normal exercise routine.

Parties, shopping and other occasions can cut into your usual workout time. Try to schedule exercise routines around these events; working out regularly helps cut down on the stress that can come with this time of year. Another option is incorporating exercise into your holiday activities. Take a walk around the neighborhood with your family or friends to view decorations or the local holiday market, or do some simple exercise routines in between baking food or wrapping gifts.

Look for the healthy appetizers.

Holiday get-togethers mean treats galore, but it can be easy to go overboard. Aim for the fruits or vegetables on the hors d’oeuvre platter: celery, cucumber, carrots and more. These can go great with dips and toppings such as salad dressing or peanut butter. Not only are they good for you, but you’ll be less likely to spoil your appetite for dinner with the lighter snacks.

Bring leftovers to the office.

There’ll most likely be leftover food from you and your friends’ get-togethers. Instead of keeping the extra food in your fridge or cupboard, bring them to work to share with your coworkers. It can be a way to share recipes and introduce new food to your colleagues.

Store those cookies in the freezer.

Baking cookies is a popular pastime during the season. To avoid eating all of them at once, stick them in the freezer after they cool. You’ll be less likely to eat something out of sight and frozen solid. Freezing cookies also makes them last longer. Just make sure to take them out to defrost if bringing them to an event.

Indulging a little bit is not a bad thing.

The holidays are a time to celebrate, so it doesn’t hurt to have a treat every now and then. Have a cookie, brownie or the classic hot chocolate. Having them in a social setting instead of alone will make you less likely to go overboard.

Being healthy during the holidays isn’t limited to nutrition, it also includes mental health. Here are some suggestions to stay in a positive state of mind.

Look for opportunities to help those in need.  

Helping those less fortunate can give you a sense of fulfillment and keep things in perspective. Volunteer at a local shelter or other facility to serve food or sort donations. If you’re short on time, many shelters and churches have programs where you can anonymously buy gifts for families. Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is designated as a day to make an online donation to various charities and organizations.

Send Holiday cards.

In today’s digital age, most holiday greetings are sent electronically. However, many stores still sell classic holiday cards. Sending these to your friends and family can be a fun tradition and serve as a pleasant surprise since most mail nowadays are bills and advertisements. They also make great decorations.

Spend time with friend and family.

Although there’s plenty of food and presents during this time of year, most memories are formed during get togethers with friend and family. Attending events with friends can give you a different perspective as to how they celebrate the season. Quality time with family is important, as this might be the only time of year that you see them.

Have a happy and healthy holiday season!

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