Thanksgiving is here and if you’re like us, you’re ready for spending time with the ones you love and eating some yummy food. However, this is just the beginning of the barrage of holiday parties that will continue throughout the next six weeks. With all the travel and time commitments during the holiday season, we often overlook what we’re doing to our bodies. Here’s a few tips to help you stay on track...
- Stiff muscles, sore joints, and potentially more serious health concerns may result from remaining stationary during long trips. When flying, make sure to get up, stretch, and move around frequently when it is safe to do so. If your driving, make sure you make frequent “pit stops”. Avoid sitting with your legs crossed for extended periods of time and change positions every once in awhile.
- Wash your hands! We know we sound like your parents, but when you’re traveling through public spaces you’ll most likely come into contact with a few germs. Whether its restrooms, a stair railing or the airplane tray table, there’s always lovely bacteria to contend with. Make sure to reduce your risk of illness by washing your hands frequently with soap and water or by using a hand sanitizing gel.
- Get plenty of sleep...were talking 8-9 hours. Quality shut-eye is one way to keep the stress levels of the holidays under control. If you're unable to string together 9 hours in a row, try sneaking away during the afternoon for a power nap to help keep your cortisol levels in check.
- The time is here for holiday parties. Our tip…don’t go to a party hungry. This is a good time to actually spoil your dinner. Make sure to also eat a wholesome breakfast and lunch on the day to avoid overeating at the party.
- Hydrate. Make sure you're drinking plenty of water during the holidays (at a minimum half of your weight in ounces, 200lbs = 100 oz of daily water intake). You’ll feel less hungry, look better, and be less fatigued!
- Hit the healthy stuff first. When loading up your plate, look for veggies and low-fat meats first. Filling up on these will reduce the amount of some of those more sugar-laced dishes. Protein is also great for keeping you fuller, longer.
- Don't be a Scrooge. Holidays bring out the family traditions. This may be the only time of year that your Grandma makes her famous pumpkin pie. Don't be the one to disappoint her by stating, "Sorry Grandma, but your pumpkin pie isn't paleo."
- Put the focus on family and friends. While food is a big part of the holiday season, enjoying the company of your family and friends is more important. Instead of being an eating machine, kill calories with conversation, games, and other activities. Make food your back-up entertainment.
- The holidays are here and we all should accept that they probably will affect our exercise program to some extent. The key to staying active during the season is being realistic. Take a look at your schedule. Instead of trying to squeeze exercise in, it might be better to take something out. We always find it beneficial to wake up a little early and get the workout out of the way. Plus, you'll feel better the rest of the day!
- High-intensity interval training, which burns the maximum calories in the minimum amount of time, can be a godsend over the holidays. This is where we love Tabatas and 30/30s. Nothing like a 20-minute or less workout that will truthfully challenge you physically. You can also do intervals on a bike, treadmill, or pool. If you’re looking to stay home, do jumping jacks, jump rope, or do sprints. The key here is getting a quality workout in a short amount of time.
- Combine physical activities with holiday tasks and errands. Enter the local Turkey Trot, take an after-dinner walk with the family or have a snowball fight. Including the family can keep you accountable and make your workouts more rewarding.
Whatever happens, remember the goal is to eat, drink and be merry. Don't add stress to your holidays by beating yourself up over a few decisions. Understand the consequences, make educated decisions, and put the work in to get back on track.
What are some of the tricks or tips that you have to stay healthy during the holiday season?