Holidays are a truly special time of year. It is a chance to connect with loved ones, give thanks, attend plenty of parties and enjoy some delicious food and beverages. However, the holidays can be equally as nerve-wracking and stressful and can be a trigger for anxiety or bouts of depression. This year make sure you’re ready to handle the holiday season by follow these 6 tips on how to enjoy a healthier holiday:
- Cook healthier. Avoid fried foods and items that contain a high amount of sodium and saturated fats. Instead, try using organic and natural ingredients, fresh vegetables, fruit for dessert and gluten-free recipes. You can easily cook a delicious and healthy holiday meal without compromising on flavor and taste.
- Be physically active. The holidays shouldn’t be an excuse to slack on physical activity. Even though you may be much busier than you are the rest of the year, staying active helps keep manage your weight and promotes a healthy heart. Practice a few minutes of an aerobic exercise such as jogging or swimming or try a relaxing routine such as tai chi or yoga.
- Reduce portions. Even though grandma makes the best green bean casserole in the world, it doesn’t mean you should over-eat. Often times, the holidays causes us to indulge in large portions and gluttonous eating. Reduce your portion and don’t go back for seconds. Drink water when you’re feeling hungry and remember to never leave the house hungry before a social event. Snack on some fresh fruit or nuts to curb your hunger. This will help you control your weight and feel satisfied, not sluggish.
- Consume less alcohol. Consuming large quantities of alcohol is a very unhealthy holiday practice. It increases blood pressure and greatly dehydrates the body. Instead, limit yourself to one or two drinks a day and space them out. Also remember you should never drink on an empty stomach.
- Stop smoking. If you are a smoker, quitting smoking during the holiday season is one of the healthiest changes you can make. Your circulation, as well as your heart and lung health will improve. Pairing exercise with quitting smoking has an immediate positive impact on your cardiovascular health and well being.
- Reduce stress. The holidays can be an incredibly stressful time and can invoke episodes of anxiety or depression. Remember to keep your stress as low as possible. If you’re hosting an event, plan it out as far in advance as you can to be properly prepared. Try to avoid late night sales grabs at retail stores and grocery shopping the night before peak holiday hours. When you are less stressed, you will be able to enjoy the festivities much more.
Remember that you can still have fun this holiday season while maintaining a healthy lifestyle! The most important aspect of the holidays is to cherish the time you have with friends, family and loved ones. For more information on staying healthy during the holidays be sure to visit us online at www.themedicalcenterofplano.com.
10 Tips to Quit Smoking