The holiday season is in full swing, which means many of us are preparing for celebrations with family, friends, and good food. The holidays present a wonderful opportunity to connect with others, but can also be a source of stress and anxiety. November and December are busy months for many of us. It’s also a time where our routines and schedules are inconsistent and diets consist of special and often heavy foods. In fact, high cholesterol, an increase in blood pressure and foods that cause inflammation in the body are common during this time. If we’re not careful, the holiday season can have a negative effect on our health—both physically and mentally. Here are a few tips to help you maintain your healthy habits throughout the holiday season.
Simple Tips for a Healthy Holiday
To help keep you healthy, reduce stress and avoid the holiday blues, you may consider implementing the following tips the next time you find yourself celebrating with family and friends.
- Walk after large meals. We all know that feeling after we’ve eaten too much at a holiday brunch or dinner. While we might be tempted to nap after a large meal, taking a walk might be a better option. Moving our bodies, especially after a large meal, helps us digest our food and turn it into energy instead of storing it into fat cells.
- Wash hands frequently. As we gather inside for celebrations, it’s not uncommon for colds and other wintertime illnesses to spread quickly. To decrease our risk of contracting the flu or common cold, make sure to wash your hands frequently using warm water and antibacterial soap. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good option if you’re traveling or don’t have access to soap and water.
- Stay hydrated. Fancy cocktails are a fun holiday treat. However, it’s best to drink in moderation and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Alcohol based drinks can cause inflammation in the joints, which can cause pain and decreased mobility. Water helps flush out toxins and helps aids in digestion.
- Get quality sleep. Our bodies heal and replenish themselves while we sleep. Getting enough high-quality sleep supports basic body functions and is also important in maintaining our mental health. It’s not uncommon to veer from our normal daily routines during the holiday season, however, it’s important to maintain our sleep schedules when possible.
- Maintain your exercise routine. Exercise releases endorphins, which are our body’s natural pain reliever and happiness booster. Exercise is also an important factor in maintaining balance, coordination and can help reduce healing time from injuries. So, bundle up for a walk outside or try an indoor workout you can do from the comfort of your own home.
- Rest after traveling. Traveling can become more difficult as we age. Road trips and airplane rides can take a lot of energy. Make sure to get adequate rest after a travel day. This might mean skipping out on the shopping and opting for some quiet time instead.
- Prioritize healthy meal options. Before you enjoy special holiday foods, make sure to consume vegetables and fruits which are high in nutrients and support optimal health.
- Manage stress. The holidays can be stressful! However, it’s important to learn how to manage stress because too much of it can disrupt different function in the body including the immune and digestive systems.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick. In addition to washing your hands frequently, you should also do your best to avoid those who are sick with colds or the flu. You might consider avoiding crowded places when possible or protect yourself by wearing a face mask.
Celebrating the Holidays at Maple Knoll Village
As you celebrate the holidays with family and friends, our staff at Maple Knoll Village are here to keep you safe and healthy. From the Hemsworth Wellness Center to the Bistro on the Green, we have everything it takes to make this holiday season a healthy one.