Healthy Holiday Season Tips
For many people, the holiday season is their favourite time of the year. While it’s also often a very stressful period characterized by an overindulgence of food and alcohol, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips to help make this holiday season a very happy and healthy one:

  • GET PLENTY OF SLEEP: The holidays are a busy time but sleep is very important for our overall health, so make sure that you don’t have too many late nights.
  • DON’T SKIP MEALS: Skipping meals during the day to help you “make up” for the eating/drinking at a party or gathering that night however, you’ll probably end up eating much more than you might otherwise because you’ll be hungry.
  • LIGHTEN UP YOUR RECIPES: Modify your holiday recipes to reduce the amount of fat, salt, sugar and simple carbohydrates that you include. Try adding more fruits and vegetables to your meals as well.
  • DON’T STOP EXERCISING: Winter activities, such as skating or cross-country skiing, can be great exercise and a lot of fun. Make plans to include one or more in your holiday season itinerary as a nice compliment to your regular exercise routine – if you don’t have one, why not get a head start on the New Year and start one now!
  • ORGANIZE ACTIVITIES WITHOUT FOOD: Not every gathering has to be a dinner or a party filled with snacks. Get creative and plan some holiday activities that don’t involve eating (maybe try a winter activity like skating as mentioned above).
  • AVOID TEMPTATION AT PARTIES: There are a few techniques you can try to reduce the amount that you’ll eat and drink at parties. One strategy is to position yourself far away from the snack table in order to avoid mindless snacking. Another is to hold a glass of water or another drink in your dominant hand so that picking up food becomes more difficult. Finally, try chewing sugarless gum or sucking on a mint during the party. This will stop you from eating too much.
  • ENJOY TREATS IN MODERATION: Of course, no one expects you to avoid all holiday treats for the entire season. However, eating everything in front of you isn’t a good idea either. The solution is to indulge and enjoy a few special treats while avoiding the others. This way you’ll still be able to enjoy the season without harming your health.
  • SEND THE LEFTOVERS HOME: When hosting a party or dinner, consider sending some leftovers home with each guest. This will reduce the amount that you’ll end up eating yourself the next day.
  • BE CAREFUL SHOVELING SNOW: Shoveling snow can lead to back injuries and other problems. Be sure to warm up thoroughly before shoveling and use ergonomic lifting techniques to reduce the likelihood of an injury. Don’t forget to pace yourself when shoveling and take breaks as needed.
  • DRINK RESPONSIBLY: Obviously, if you’re drinking, you should NOT be driving. Of course, aside from representing a risk on the roads, alcohol also has a lot of calories. This is especially true with holiday themed drinks. Add to that the fact that when you’re drinking alcohol, you’re more likely to snack more, and it’s pretty easy to see why moderation can be a very good thing!

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