Thursday, December 17, 2015

6 Ways to Stay Healthy for the Holidays

Written By: Briana Cunningham, Junior, Public Relations Major

The holidays are approaching, which means parties and family gatherings with warm chocolate chip cookies and candy canes galore, but don’t fall into the trap and let your health slip off your radar. There are plenty of active and nutritious ways to celebrate with a focus on fun. Try these six tips to stay healthy this holiday season!

   1. Keep your workout at the top of your to-do list.
          The holidays are a busy time of year, and you’ve got a lot of stuff to get done, but it’s important to make your physical fitness a priority. We all know people will be flocking the gym come January 1 to start their New Year’s resolution. Why wait? Beat them to the punch! Get moving and sweat off those snickerdoodles.

*To make it a little more fun, try a movie-inspired workout! Put on your favorite holiday movie, like Elf or How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and every time you hear someone say “Merry Christmas” do a minute of jumping jacks or whenever you see a reindeer, do 20 squats. It adds holiday cheer to the activity and can include the whole family! Look on the internet for some other fun ideas.

   2. Make water your best friend.
With eggnog and hot cocoa on your mind, water might not be your first choice during the holiday season, but it should be. Water plays an essential role in your body’s daily functions. Everything, including you kidneys, blood vessels, and skin, needs to stay hydrated. If you want something with a little more flavor, try adding a natural ingredient like lemon or cucumber. And best of all, water doesn’t have any calories!

   3. Wash your hands.
      It is cold and flu season, and no one wants to be sick on Christmas morning. You’ll probably be spending a lot of time around people at parties, the mall, or family gatherings. Avoid the spread of germs by simply washing your hands often and properly. If you don’t have access to running water, hand sanitizer can do the trick, as well!

   4. Don’t eat it just because it’s the holidays.
      I would never suggest skipping out on your favorite holiday delicacies; everything is okay in moderation, but don’t fill your plate like this is the last time you will ever eat Grandma’s green bean casserole. Although some people may try to deny it, calories count no matter what time of year it is. Here are some ideas to avoid overeating:
-       Make plans to have grandma’s pumpkin pie later on in the year so you don’t feel the need to stuff your face with as much as possible at one time.
-       Don’t skip meals to save calories for the big Christmas dinner. You’ll be so hungry that you’re almost guaranteed to overdo it. Eat small, nutritious meals throughout the day so dinner is just a small indulgence.
-       Keep quick and healthy snacks around at all times, even on the go. Having an apple or nuts stored away could save you from eating that cinnamon bun.

   5.  Rest up.
      Finals just ended and you finally have a break, so get those eight hours you’ve been craving. Sleep is a necessary factor in your well-being. It gives the body time to heal itself and keeps your mind awake and alert throughout the day. Do your body a favor and go to bed.

   6. Keep the focus on the fun.
      The holidays are supposed to be about spending time with family and friends, not the food you’re eating. So stop thinking about the fruitcake and enjoy your time. A surefire way to do this is to steer clear of the food table: that’s the danger zone. I’m not suggesting that you don’t eat, but after you fill your plate, walk away. If you stay by the table while you socialize, you’re more likely to mindlessly snack. You won’t event realize you’re reaching for the chip bowl in between sentences. Put down the baked brie and go have fun.

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