Fitness

Nine ways to have a healthier holiday

showshoeing
Snowshoeing in Northern Ontario, Canada

The holidays are coming up faster than I can imagine. I thought it was a good time to write this post. I’m not going to lie; I love everything about the holidays. Along with my birthday (which I’ve been trying to have declared a National holiday!), it’s my favorite time of year. I love spending time with family and friends, eating good food and just having a fabulous time. But, all the work that goes into the holidays, including the socializing, can severely impact energy and change sleep, exercise and eating habits.

Some people may believe that keeping healthy during the holidays is somewhat mythical, but it’s not. There are some tips you can follow to help you stay healthy throughout the holidays, without sacrificing all of the fun!

1.Keep to your regular schedule as much as possible. If you workout and have social things planned, try to get to your workout beforehand. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time as you normally do, even if that means leaving some engagements a little earlier.

Bicep workout

2.Take a short holiday from your goals if it helps. If you’ve been trying to lose or gain weight, make the holiday season a weight maintenance period. It allows you to put less pressure on yourself to keep to an unattainable regimen. If you’re someone who is super motivated and can overlook the majority of temptations, then keep going!

3.Record your food and exercise. Even though it can get tiresome, it will help keep you accountable. You don’t have to get down to in-depth details, but taking a couple of minutes to make your list can help you stay on a healthier course. A tool like myfitnesspal.com can help.

4.Plan some active engagements with your friends and family. Depending on the weather you have in your area, you can go skating, skiing, walking, swimming, dancing – anything that keeps you all moving!

5.Engage in active living. What does this mean? If you can’t squeeze in exercise during your busy holiday schedule, get moving whenever you can. For example, shovel the snow, take the stairs and walk when you have the time.

6.Eat healthily during the day. If you have dinner plans in the evening, make sure you don’t eat unhealthy meals or sneak treats during the day.

Tofu salad

7.Take cues from your stomach. Your stomach knows when you’re full. If you’ve eaten your normal portion but still feel like eating, wait 20 minutes and see if you’re still hungry. If you are, then eat, if you’re not, don’t overindulge because the food is there.

8.Modify your holiday recipes. You may have a go-to dish you make every holiday. If it’s not the healthiest option, there are ways to change up an ingredient or two to make it healthier without sacrificing taste. For example, I cut down on oil by adding in things like tomato paste, lemon (or some sort of mixture). You can check online for similar recipes and see where you can make some changes.

9.Sleep. Not getting enough sleep will increase your appetite. When you’re sleep deprived, your body produces more of the hormone that increases your desire to eat. As mentioned in the first tip, try to go to bed and get up at the same time you normally do when you can.

These are some of my tips; what are some of yours?

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42 comments

  1. Enjoy is one of mine. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the season. Some people have a hard time with this holiday. If you believe or not in the holiday. It is meant for time for yourself and who ever you surround yourself with. It easy to see the things you don’t have around this holiday season. I say just learn to enjoy yourself a little more. 🙂 great post!

    1. Thank you! I really appreciate it. I’m sorry for the late reply. I’ve been traveling. Thanks for sharing your story, It’s amazing how it doesn’t take very long for food to taste so different once you’ve become accustomed to a different way. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and holiday

    1. Thanks so much for your comment. I am the same (well less gym time lately….I need a kick in the pants some days lately!) it makes such a difference all year around. I’m sorry for the late reply, I’ve been traveling.

  2. Much needed advice for the season. Year on year this is the time of year I go all out on sweets and cakes. Eventually the fitness and eating healthy routine goes for a toss with family holidays. Great tips…reasonable ones to follow.

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