The holidays can be a joyous and wonderful time of year! We participate in gratitude around the Thanksgiving table, join the joyous celebration of the giving of gifts, pause in reflection at the ending year, and welcome the New Year with revelry and anticipation. But it can also be a time when we forget about our healthy habits as we graze our way through one festive banquet after another and rush through our days and nights with barely time for catching our breath. Here are some tips on remaining healthy during the “most wonderful time of the year,” so that the season ends well and your New Year starts bright.
Stay on track with a plan that you’ll stick to that includes…
- Maintaining a Proper Diet: It can be difficult to eat healthy during the holidays as many celebrations include activities around food. So try to enjoy without overindulging. Use a small plate and take small portions. When “food pushers” come at you with something you’re not interested in eating, don’t be afraid to say “no.” Try to get your daily servings of fruits and vegetables by choosing healthy options at celebrations. This may include fruits and vegetables when possible instead of sugary items such as cookies and cakes. As always, drink in moderation when alcohol is served and drink plenty of water. As much as you can, shift the focus to family, friends and fun instead of the food.
- Regular Exercise: Schedule your workouts during the holidays as you would an important meeting during the work week and don’t miss them. Try to schedule simple exercises that work with your travel and holiday plans. Examples may include taking a walk after the holiday meals or scheduling some family activities that require physical activity. Exercise is a great activity to do with someone else so don’t be afraid to ask a family or friend to join you, it may be the best catching up you do all year!
- Consistent Sleep: Nightly rest is the time for your body to recoup and regain energy to keep up with the demands of your celebrations. This can be difficult when normal sleeping arrangements are disrupted. For some quality rest, shut off your alarm when you can and don’t be afraid to let others know you’d like to sleep in. Bring ear plugs and sleeping masks if needed to block lights and sounds that may disrupt your slumber. When possible, grab a short nap in the afternoons to boost your energy levels throughout the day, sometimes all you need is 10 minutes to recharge.
With a little planning and preparation, you can make a big difference in maintaining your health throughout this holiday season. Your friends at Riverview Regional Medical Center wish you “glad tidings of comfort and joy” as we end the year and begin another.