Though the holiday season is a time to relax and unwind, things can get pretty strenuous and tiresome.
Whether you’re traveling to a distant destination or hosting family members and friends, chances are that you will be thrown out of your usual element.
In order to truly enjoy the holidays, you will have to stay healthy. To make things easier for you, we have compiled some helpful tips on staying healthy during the holidays!
Here Are The Tips For Staying Healthy During the Holidays
Get a Good Night’s Rest
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, getting a good night’s rest has broad implications for your health, ranging from your heart to mood. The CDC recommends that adults get between 7-8 hours a night to sustain a good level of health. In addition, the National Sleep Foundation concluded “that insufficient sleep affects the body’s hormone levels and ability to regulate and metabolize glucose.”
When your body has trouble controlling blood sugar, you might be more prone to eating all that sugary, fat-heavy food the next. Basically, sleep deprivation leads to weight gain. Especially when you’re eating high fatty during the holidays, you will want to do your best to improve your metabolism and regulate yourself.
On top of making you healthier, getting a good night’s rest can make you be in a generally better mood. Anyone can tell you that there are a myriad of potential opportunities to get riled up during the holidays — an annoying family member, political discussion or an endless list of errands can push anyone over the edge.
If you’re spending your days sleepy and drifting like a zombie, you might be more irritable. So, instead of staying out all night going on that reunion pub crawl with old friends, stick to enjoying a single beer and then heading home.
The holidays involve a lot of sitting around and relaxing. When you’re eating those popular high-fatty foods, your body produces hormones that make you more tired. And since you’re on vacation, you might be tempted to succumb to laziness — why not spend your entire binge-watching your favorite show in your pajamas?
But staying active can have numerous benefits for both your mental and physical health. Getting regular exercise can help you regulate your weight and be in a better mood. Additionally, exercise can be a great bonding activity for your family members.
You don’t necessarily have to run a marathon — try going for a daily walk or run to digest all that food you’re probably eating. Even something like getting some fresh air and going on a walk around the neighborhood before the big party can go a long way in making you happy and healthier!
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
During a holiday party, you might be tempted to drink too much alcohol. Everyone is repeatedly filling up their glass of spiked eggnog, so why shouldn’t you? But that cup of wine or sugary cocktail can actually be causing you a lot of harm.
Not only can alcohol lead to weight gain, it also dehydrates you. As a diuretic, it causes people to urinate more and get more dehydrated. Although alcohol might loosen up your inhibitions and make you life of the party, you will be filled with regret when you wake up with a brutal hangover. To stay healthy and hydrated during the holidays, cut back and stick to drinking a cup or two.
Often, being thirsty can lead to increased hunger. Your body might think that you’re hungry but you’re actually craving more water. If you’re going on a long road trip, make sure to carry around a water bottle with you so you can stay hydrated on the go.
At your dinner party, remind yourself to drink water instead of soda. Dehydration has the potential to weaken your immune system, dry out your skin, and make you absent-minded. Though it might seem shockingly simple, drinking more water can really help you stay on top of your health.
Practice mindful eating
The holidays are far from the ideal time to have a diet. You shouldn’t feel guilty for filling up your plate with that sugary, high-fatty food you have craved all year. But there is a way to enjoy yourself mindfully, and not go overboard and binge-eat.
Try your best to eat less by savoring every dish and eating slowly. While many of your guests may enjoy a plate of seconds that’s overflowing with food, you should be wary of that particular tradition. Take a break between first and seconds so you can pay attention to how your body feels after you eat. Do you already feel full? Then, there’s no need to eat more.
A great way to prevent overeating is eating snacks throughout the day so you don’t come to dinner outrageously hungry. For a healthy snack, mix a scoop of collagen protein powder with some milk. Collagen can help you feel full while also supporting muscle recovery and joint health.
Be kind to yourself
Scientists have found that there’s a link between happiness levels and a strong immune system. A crucial part of staying healthy during the holidays is letting yourself relax. Though diets are about diligently practicing restraint, it’s perfectly fine to indulge a little bit. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you have a few extra treats.
Being kind to yourself also means unplugging from work and anything that has been stressing you out recently. That giant work project, application, or personal problem with a friend can wait. If you find that your phone won’t stop buzzing with work texts and emails, it could be helpful to turn it off or keep it in your bedroom so you can unwind without being bothered. You have all year to work — you deserve to take this time off.
Nobody wants to end the holidays with a sickness. By being mindful of your body, you can thrive this holiday season and start the new year on a happy note.