5 Ways to Stay Healthy Through the Holiday Season...
and still have fun!
At this time of year, the focus is on enjoying all the festivities rather than on health. But all the rich foods, cocktails, late nights and stress can lead to weight gain, low immunity, and exhaustion. Here are five ideas to help you stay healthy while still having a great time.
Stay well-hydrated – Alcohol and caffeine are both very dehydrating. So to prevent the morning after headache by drinking one large glass of water between each glass of wine or cocktail (likewise for the coffee). Keep in mind too, that drinking one large glass of water 20 minutes before a meal (but not during a meal as this dilutes stomach acid and enzymes thus weakening digestion) has the added benefit of helping you feel full faster so that you don’t overeat.
Choose nutrient-rich food – when you face a giant spread of food, avoid the deep-fried, processed, and packaged foods that are full of saturated fat, salt, and sugar. Instead, choose homemade foods, high quality protein sources, colourful vegetables and fresh fruits that contain nutrients to nourish your body, thus giving you enough energy to enjoy the party.
Breathe – Take 5 minutes first thing in the morning and throughout the day (in the car to the next gathering) to be mindful your breathing. This exercise promotes physiological relaxation that can protect your body from the harmful effects of too much stress. An easy breathing exercise is taking a deep breath down to your navel to a slow count of four, holding the breath for a count of four and exhaling slowly to a count of four.
Schedule unstructured time – Set aside some time every week that you do not have any planned activities or goals to accomplish. It is this time that you can putter around the house, take a leisurely stroll, or do anything you enjoy so that you take an emotional and mental break.
Get active – Physical exercise (preferably outdoors) normalizes levels of stress hormones in our bodies and puts more oxygen into your brain. Make plans with your friends and families to go skating or hiking together.
I hope you have a happy and healthy holiday with your friends and families. See you in the New Year!