4 Tips For Enjoying The Holiday Season Without Sabotaging Your Health Goals
Fitness professional Cassie Brown shares her tips for staying healthy through the holiday season:
1. Create Room [In Your Schedule] For Activities!
“There’s so much room for activities!” - said no one ever about their schedule during the holidays… And that’s OK! You don’t need so much room. But you should set aside the minimum amount of time that’s necessary to maintain your health. The U.S. Surgeon General recommends completing a minimum of 150-minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every week. That breaks down to at least 30-minutes, 5 days a week. If you get that minimum of 30-minutes done at the gym or in a class, great! If you don’t, grab a friend - fur or human - and hit the pavement for a brisk walk. Find a way to get. those. minutes. in.
2. Stay Hydrated & Mindful of Liquid Calories
Daily movement and proper hydration is essential for keeping our metabolism functioning optimally. Not only that, staying hydrated is also key in keeping our skin healthy and glowing. Dehydration can sabotage any of our anti-aging practices - no matter how expensive the serum. We all know we should aim to finish around 8 glasses of water a day, but try to keep track through this busy season… we often overestimate how well we’re doing on the hydration front. Now while we’re talking about our beverage choices, here’s a friendly reminder that, while ’tis the season for pumpkin spice and everything nice, we need be be mindful of all the extra fat, processed sugars and calories we’re consuming in our seasonal faves. Some beverages have enough calories to count as multiple meals. Yikes.. And yes, open bar calories count too ;-)
3. When You Have The Opportunity, Opt For Balanced, Nourishing Meals
Yes, this time of year we are inundated with gifted sweets, bacon-wrapped hors d’oeuvres, and BOGO hot cocoa, but we aren’t always eating at a party. Opportunities to nourish our body, while seemingly less frequent, are still there. While deciding that a coffee and a brownie out of the tray in the break room for lunch will indeed get you to the end of the day, instead commit to using the opportunity of greater control over your food choices to fill up with plenty of vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. It’s OK to treat yourself! However, falling into the trap of replacing nutrient-dense meals with calorie-dense treats will leave you feeling less than your best.
4. Strive To Get Plenty Of Sleep Most Nights
All the festivities and late nights, [usually involving sugar-binges], are bound to mess with our sleep schedule. Here’s the thing though… if you have a day where 1-3 above just don’t happen, you’re more likely to bounce back if you get plenty of restful sleep afterward. When 1-4 just don’t happen, that’s when things start changing more dramatically. So be strategic! If you plan to stay out past midnight on NYE, be sure to get plenty of activity in, stay well hydrated and eat nourishing meals throughout the day leading up to your late night shenanigans. Or if you spend an entire day with your family opening gifts, watching movies, eating amazing dishes and enjoying each other’s company, be sure to enjoy a great night’s sleep afterward.
Wishing you all a joy-filled and healthy holiday season!
– Cassie Brown