Staying healthy over the holidays
I don’t know about you but I enjoy the holiday season! I love food and spending time with my family and friends! With the ongoing pandemic and public health concerns - I thought I’d share a few things I will do this holiday season and into 2021 to stay healthy, both physically and mentally!
I’m very passionate about health and fitness but even for someone like me Netflix binge-watching and overeating tend to win over workouts and healthy eating during the holidays. It's normal to indulge over the holidays, but it doesn't mean I have to become a sedentary gourmand. What if I could enjoy that time of the year without sabotaging my health after months of hard work?
Keep in mind there’s no right or wrong answer, it’s all about finding balance and something that works for you. Here are some of the areas I plan on focusing on optimal mental and physical health during the holidays:
Stick to my routine
Most years, with all the dinners and parties associated with the Holidays, I have a hard time sticking to my morning routine. This year is different since gatherings have been regulated and limited so I’ll make it happen. I discovered working out in the morning a few years ago and although I never considered myself a morning person, I would never go back. Here’s a sneak peek at my morning routine:
- 4:30 am Time to wake up, hydrate, and get ready for the gym!
- 4:45 am: Breathing Exercises
- 4:50 am: Positive Morning Affirmations
- 4:55 am: Gratitude and Journaling
- 5:00 am: Listen to a podcast or read a book
- 5:15 am: Stretch and mobility exercises
- 5:30 am Workout time with my wife!
Try to stick to your routine as much as possible - it will help your body and mind ease the transition back to work after the holidays.
Don’t neglect your physical activities during the holidays. It’s even more important to stay active during that period. I’m fortunate because we have a home gym for our daily workouts. Dedicating a room exclusively for fitness training is not possible for everyone, but during the holidays (and a pandemic) your home might be an option to consider to maintain your fitness.
- There’s no commute
- It’s opened 24/7
- You can make your own rules
- The best way to avoid germs
- No gym membership to worry about
Exercising over the holidays doesn't have to mean hitting the gym. Going for a walk or a run, sports, dancing, shoveling, cleaning are great ways to stay active!
I need to Stay Hydrated
For some reason, I’ve always had a hard time hydrating. It’s easy to go for a Chestnut Praline Latte or a Peppermint Mocha over water when it’s chilly outside, but staying hydrated is key to staying healthy through the holidays.
Eat what I like but no overeating
Let’s face it, food is a major theme of the holidays. Between Christmas and New Year’s Day, to prevent food excesses try to eat slowly because the brain takes about 20 minutes to let you know you’re full. Go easy on the appetizers, meats, desserts, cream sauces, and leave room for healthier choices too. Also, when on the go, carry snacks to avoid the fast-food trap!
Give yourself permission
Don’t force yourself to eat everything, choose what you enjoy the most. Don't deprive yourself of the foods you love. If your mom makes a delicious dish you look forward to every year, eat it! My wife and I have a ritual when we’re off work during the holidays - fireplace, Christmas movies, cheese bits crackers, and Oreo cookies! We look forward to it every year!
Rest & Self-Care
It’s been a long and exhausting year for a lot of us so take time to relax. It is important to rest when you can because, on top of everything else, the holiday season can be demanding. Don’t run down your batteries before December 31. Between shopping, cooking, and hosting, make sure you take a moment each day to just relax and clear your mind. Take an evening walk, listen to relaxing music, rent the movie you’ve been wanting to see, lose yourself in a good book, play board or video games you enjoy, etc.
It’s tough to stick to a healthy routine every hour of every day every other month of the year, but the holiday season and the new year bring a whole set of new challenges. Make sure you find ways that work for you to stay physically and mentally healthy during the holidays, that’ll guarantee a more joyful January 2021!
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