Christmas is almost upon us. Do you have a game plan ready for how to stay healthy during the holidays? With holiday treats out in abundance and a bowl of mashed potatoes with your name on it, you better start thinking about your game plan for a healthy holiday. Here are a few suggestions we've come up with to make sure you still fit into your pants in the new year:
First, make sure to exercise on the regular, don't wait until January to start. Between now and the new year, consider making regular exercise a part of your routine as we navigate the holidays. Take time during your lunch break to go for a brisk twenty-minute walk, get some fresh air, and stretch your legs if you've been sitting in a chair all day. Once you've incorporated regular exercise into your schedule, it will be easier to jump right back into it after Christmas. Exercise doesn't have to be complicated with fancy equipment or an expensive gym membership either, just try this simple 7-minute workout that doesn't require any equipment (except for a chair!).
Between shopping, meal prep, and all that holiday gift wrapping, make sure that you're getting plenty of water throughout the day. It's easy to go a few hours without drinking a cup of water when you're absorbed in a task. Experts recommend drinking six to eight cups of water a day. Spritz it up by adding a squeeze of lemon, crushed mint leaves, or tossing in a few frozen berries to make your own flavoured water. A hot cup of tea is also a great way to warm up on those cold days.
Christmas Game Plan: Never go to the party hungry! Have a light healthy snack such as a handful of nuts or a small cup of yogurt before
dinner to avoid overeating. Be smart about loading up your plate and remember: portion control. For a balanced meal, follow the Canada
Food Guide's three-part plate: Fill half your plate with veggies, reserve a quarter of your plate for carbs and a quarter for protein. If
you're going for seconds, use a smaller dessert/salad plate to help with portion control and to avoid overeating.
Slow down and enjoy your food. There's no need to rush through your plate, it's not going anywhere! Chew slowly and enjoy the aroma, texture, and flavour of each bite. It can take up to ten minutes for your stomach to send the "I'm full" signal to your brain, so it's easy to overdo it if you're not paying attention.
Finally, make time for self-care. The holidays come and go in a whirlwind of activities and excitement, so it's easy to forget your own needs. Set aside some time each day for a short quiet meditation to decompress (Insight Timer and Headspace are great apps), catch up on reading, or take time to get out and enjoy nature. The holidays are also a great time to establish a better sleep routine. Getting a good night's rest contributes to a better mood and good health. Being consistent with your bed and wake up time will help regulate sleep and restore your energy levels - you don't want to feel utterly exhausted after the holidays!
To recap, these are six tips for a healthier holiday:
GOeBlogger is a health enthusiast and avid reader living and thriving in vibrant Vancouver. When she's not nerding out at her laptop, you can find her exploring the beautiful BC coastline with her dog.
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