Staying Healthy Over the Holidays

By Jennifer Gendron, Health & Wellness Coach

The holidays are upon us and the next couple of weeks are filled with celebrations and special events as we gather with family and friends.  This is a time when we are off of our regular routine and where we indulge a little more often, however, we can enjoy ourselves while still maintaining our health over the holidays.

Here are a few tips to make this holiday season a healthy one for you and your family:

1.  Indulge in only the most special treats.  While we tend to be surrounded by lots of treats everywhere we go over the holidays, we all have our favorites and should save our “cheats” for those that we find most special.  Skip out on things like pre-packaged cookies and chocolates and save your extra calories for special homemade treats that you look forward to every year.  By picking and choosing your treats, you can enjoy yourself without over doing it.  Just be sure not to try to completely deprive yourself of the things you enjoy as eventually your willpower will snap and you will end up overindulging!

2.  Keep the focus on fun not food!  While many of our holiday gatherings tend to revolve around food, there are other ways we can celebrate together that are just as enjoyable and don’t come with the extra calories!  Organizing a family sliding party, a Christmas light walk or a craft or activity are all ways you can enjoy time together without a major focus on food.

3.  Don’t wait until New Year to set a resolution.  It is quite common for many of us to set big goals that we want to set for the New Year but often that gives us a sense that we can just let loose and overindulge over the holidays as we will “get started on January 1st” however, there is no reason to wait for the New Year to get started!  What are you goals for healthy living?  Why not get them underway now.  Make healthy living a part of your regular routine and not just something you save for the New Year.

4.  Work some physical activity in to your holidays.  When the holidays hit, we tend to spend a lot of time rushing around from place to place but not a lot of time focused on physical activity.  Try to schedule at least 15 minutes of physical activity in to each and every day.  Whether you just book this in on your own or, you make a get together out of it by meeting a friend for a walk or other activity you enjoy like skating or snowshoeing, find ways to incorporate some physical activity in to your day.

5. Make some healthier choices for dinner.  By making some small changes to your Christmas dinner, you can drastically cut down on the calories involved in this big meal.  Use gravies and sauces sparingly and look for some healthier options for desserts and dishes.  Consider steamed or roasted vegetables as an option to creamy dishes loaded with extra calories.  And again, save your extra calories for your favorites and avoid overeating at your holiday meal.

6.  Find some you time.  Be sure to make some time for yourself each and every day even if just for a few minutes to reduce stress and focus your mind so you can enjoy all of the joys of the holidays.  Whether it is a few moments of deep breathing, some meditation or any other activity that is relaxing for you, be sure to make yourself a priority.

By taking taking some time to plan ahead and implement some healthy habits, you can make this year’s holidays the healthiest ever!

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