Monday, November 19, 2018

Staying Healthy During the Holidays

It’s the mooooost wonderful tiiiiiime of the yeeeeear. ♪♫

Yes it is!  The holidays are a time filled with beautiful weather (here in South Florida, anyway), and a time to make memories with your loved ones.  However, it can also be a stressful time packed with lots of traveling, last-minute shopping, and plenty of opportunities to overindulge and be underactive.  Now, no one is saying you should have a salad and go for a run on Thanksgiving.  The priority is to enjoy yourself and have an amazing time with your family and friends!

But the goal can be to indulge and enjoy your holiday season, while not going so overboard that come New Year’s you hastily make resolutions to suddenly become a health guru (more on this later) out of guilt. 

It’s not only possible, but it’s easy.  Here are some practical tips you can implement every day no matter the situation to stay on track with your health and wellness goals this holiday season:

1.    Prioritize movement: It’s fine to scale back on an intense exercise regimen if you’ve got a busy schedule, but there is always a way to get in some extra movement!  Research shows that going for a brief walk even as short as 15 minutes after a meal can aid digestion and burn some extra calories.  So skip the temptation to take a nap post-food-coma and opt for a walk around the block instead.

2.    Skip and/or mix and match leftovers: I’m not going to tell you to try to focus on healthy food for your holiday feast, what fun would that be?  But what you can do, is enjoy it and move on.  If you are in a situation where you are left with huge amounts of leftovers and can’t give them away to guests, a good strategy is to freeze half, and then have the other half in small quantities coupled with some healthier options.  For example, replace the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes plate with a salad topped with some of that leftover turkey.  In short, pace yourself.

3.    Minimize stress: Stress can lead to elevated cortisol levels, which leads to increased weight gain (a good way to combat stress is by getting a massage, you know we had to mention it!).

So there you have it!  Staying healthy during the holidays doesn’t need to be hard, and you don’t need to make a lot of sacrifices.  Small tweaks here and there can make a huge difference.

And above all, don’t forget to prioritize enjoying yourself.  Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Healing Hands!

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