Staying healthy this holiday season doesn’t have to be a big burden, added to your long list of tasks or scheduled events. In fact, it is easier than you might think to make healthy choices. Busy schedules, holiday parties, looming work deadlines before the end of the year, and family gatherings do not have to derail your health.
Here are a few practical tips to help you bolster your health as you move through the holiday season:
1. Get Enough Sleep.
Sleep is extremely important to maintaining good health, not only your physical health but also your emotional health. Too little sleep can result in higher stress levels, poor food choices, and irritated, abrupt responses to loved ones. Decide today that you will make getting quality sleep a priority this holiday season (before you get too busy and sleep eludes you).
2. Drink Alcohol Safely.
Holidays can bring more opportunities to indulge in alcoholic beverages, but drinking too much can lead to poor decisions, a reduced immune system, and overeating. In addition, it is important not to mix alcohol and medications. Keep in mind that the maximum number of drinks a man should consume in any given day is four. For women, it’s even less—three drinks. Finally, for the safety of yourself and everyone else on the road, do not drink and drive!
3. Drink Plenty of Water.
Just as it’s important to drink alcohol safely, it also important to drink enough water. In fact, these two can even go hand-in-hand. Alcohol can dehydrate you, so it’s important to consume even more water than normal if you are choosing to drink this holiday season. However, even if you don’t drink alcohol, it is important to drink plenty of water as it is good for your entire body and helps you fight fatigue, flushes out toxins, and helps you think clearly.
4. Eat a Balanced Diet.
Balance is key to making good food choices during the holidays. Christmas cookies, parties, and endless opportunities to indulge in delicious food can derail anyone’s efforts to eat healthy. Instead of filling your plate and glass with unhealthy options, commit to eat more fruits and vegetables this season. Choose whole grains and meats over sugar-filled treats. Once you’ve filled your plate with these healthy options, sprinkle in small portions of indulgent treats so you can still enjoy delicious holiday dishes with your friends and family members.
5. Minimize Sugar.
While you can still enjoy the festive food being served all around you, it is important to limit the amount of sugar you consume. Sugar suppresses your immune system, which increases your chance to get sick. And no one wants to be sick during the holidays! You don’t have to give up all the sweet treats. Indulge wisely by paying attention to portion size and choose only those dishes that you really want. This will help you to minimize your sugar intake while still enjoying all of the holiday treats being served around you.
6. Stay Active.
While eating healthy is important, so too is staying active. Lifting weights and going to the gym are great options for maintaining an exercise schedule. However, you don’t have to go to those extreme lengths to stay active this holiday season. With busier schedules, it can be hard to find time to get in a full workout. Taking a 15-minute walk around your neighborhood or doing three sets of crunches, planks, squats, and push-ups in your living room are great alternatives when you are too busy to get to the gym.
7. Wash Your Hands Often.
What goes along with holiday shopping, parties, and family gatherings? More people and extra germs! Good handwashing habits will help you stay healthier and have less chance of catching all of those extra germs floating around these busy spaces. Take time to wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water frequently throughout the day.
8. Take Your Supplements.
It can be easy to forget your supplements and medications in the busyness of the holiday season. Don’t let stress or extra activities keep you from maintaining your healthy choices. Taking a quality multivitamin and extra vitamin C can help you boost your immune system and better fight off colds, flu, and other respiratory infections.
9. Stick to a Budget.
With so many holiday sales bombarding us everywhere we turn, it can be hard to stick to a budget. However, this is the exact reason that it is so important to keep an eye on your spending. Set limits on what you are going to spend this holiday season and then stick to those limits. A large credit card bill looming in your future can cause a lot of stress. No one wants to start the new year out with extra financial stress!
10. Take Time for Yourself.
Finally, while holiday parties, gift giving, and extra family time can be fun, they can also be stressful and a little draining as well. Make sure to take extra time this holiday season to focus on you—your mental and physical health. This might look like taking a hot bath, meeting a friend for tea, getting a massage, or simply spending ten minutes sitting outside in the sunshine with nothing to do but relax.
By following the above suggestions, you have a better chance of staying healthy throughout this holiday season. If you do find yourself getting sick, schedule an appointment with AllCare Medical Centers. We are here to help you!