The holidays are a time to gather with friends and family, but can bring challenges to our physical and emotional health. In our culture, celebration often happens around the table with no shortage of decadent food, which makes it difficult to stick to healthy habits.
The stress of the season can take a toll on our health as well. People tend to prioritize the convenience of fast food or skip meals altogether while holiday shopping. Others travel long distances to visit family, which results in lack of sleep and stray from a regular exercise routine.
Even though you may only gain 2-4 pounds during the holidays, studies show that those 2-4 pounds are much more difficult to get off. You can still enjoy your time celebrating with friends and family - and the delicious Thanksgiving feast - without feeling guilty. We’ve come up with a few tips to help you keep your health in check this holiday season.
- Be mindful of the foods you eat, and remember to think of quality over quantity. Instead of piling your plate a mile high with a serving of each dish, pick only the foods that give you true enjoyment.
- The holidays usually bring relaxing vacation-time from work, so be sure to avoid distracted eating. Don’t eat while sitting in front of the TV or while on your phone. When you’re distracted you tend to eat more than you think.
- Bring a snack with you while holiday shopping so you don’t find yourself at the mall food court every day.
- Be sure to get your full night’s sleep every night to keep your energy up during this busy time of year.
- Stay motivated by signing up for a local 5K. The San Antonio Food Bank Turkey Trot 5K is held every year just in time to burn off some extra calories before Thanksgiving.
- Want to avoid the chilly weather temperatures or just looking for a reason to feel better? Try indoor bodyweight exercises. You can find a number of 10-minute, HIIT exercises online. My personal favorites are 12 Minute Athlete and @mytrainercarmen on Instagram.
- If you are scared to go the high road alone, recruit an accountability partner that can remind you to step away from the indulgences you are trying to avoid.
We hope these tips are helpful to you during this busy time of year, and that you’re able to stay healthy while enjoying time with friends and family. Wishing you and your loved ones Happy Holidays!
About the Author
Michelle was born and raised in San Antonio and has a heart for wellness. She combines her consulting experience with a personal desire to help others feel well and happy. She started her wellness journey with yoga and is now honing her barbell skills.