For some, the holidays are the "most wonderful time of the year." For others, it is a time full of anxiety, overeating, and stress. Throw in a pandemic, and it intensifies the feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety. Living a healthy lifestyle and keeping your immunity strong through the holidays can be tricky with high social contact levels, elevated stress levels, poor eating choices, and lack of time. Living healthy through the seasons can be achievable by taking a few tips from our Wellness professionals.
Tip #1: Exercise
I know that fitting exercise into your already overloaded schedule can seem impossible. If you choose to neglect your exercise regimen, you are doing yourself a huge miss service. Taking that time to destress and unwind can be the most productive time on your schedule. The benefits of exercise far surpass the benefits of last-minute shopping, late-night cocktails, or extra hours at work. Exercise can
Decrease your stress - Promote healthy weight - Improve your energy -
Aid in healthy sleep cycles
All of which will improve your immunity, mood, and stress levels during the season. Busy schedule? You do not have to work out an hour a day to get these great benefits. Moderate intensity exercise in as little as 25 min a day will still get you the recommended minutes per week. Cardiovascular workouts are great to burn those extra calories, however strengthening exercise will build muscle, tone your body, improve posture, and build stronger, healthier bones. The stronger your muscles, the more calories your body will burn at rest. So, keep your workouts on your schedule; your body and mind will thank you.
Tip #2: Get your rest
Studies show that even one night of late-night hours can significantly decrease your immunity and encourage weight gain. Add on that extra glass of holiday cheer, and you have the perfect storm for sickness, chronic fatigue, and anxiety. Your sleep cycle influences your daily hormone release, controlling your hunger and satiety throughout the day. Holiday stress can decrease your quality of sleep. Restless sleep can lead to a negative feedback loop creating more daily stress. It is essential to use good sleep hygiene, and adopt stress reduction techniques throughout your day to improve your sleep patterns, improve your immunity and mood during this holiday season.
Tip #3: Adopt mindful habits
Adopting mindful habits will allow you to not only survive but thrive this holiday season. Mindful practices bring conscious awareness to your day, choosing to take time for yourself, reflect on your surroundings, and be grateful for your blessings. Start with practicing gratitude and celebrate friends and family this year. Even with disappointments or setbacks, there are still plenty of things to be grateful for in life. Meditate, take a few minutes to breathe, on purpose. Take 5-10 minutes every day and sit, focus on your breath, and recharge that battery. Finally, practice acceptance. Trying to control the actions of others will lead to resentment and disappointment. Accepting people for who they are and not what the "should be" will allow you to enjoy all of your dynamic family personalities. These simple habits will allow you to enjoy the holiday storms with peace and rest.
Tip #4: Eat on Purpose
The holidays are full of cookies, pies, and alcohol of plenty. We tend to eat more mindless when the cookies and candies are all around. Mindful eating comes down to honoring your hunger, not your urges. It is bringing awareness to why you are eating, hungry, bored, stressed, etc. Mindful eating is about eating on purpose, eating for fuel, and eating without stressful distractions. It is ok to eat the cookies, pies, and treats, just in moderation and on purpose. Permitting ourselves to splurge on the holidays can lead to overall discomfort and long-term health complications. Weight gain, even temporary, can lead to joint pain, digestive issues, and an overall feeling of malaise. Here are some great tips for eating over the holidays.
Tip #1 Eat your carbs with some fiber and healthy fats. This keeps your blood sugar levels stable, making you less likely to binge on sugar.
Tip #2: Put some club soda or seltzer in your cocktail. This decreases the amount of alcohol consumption, and you are less likely to fill your glass with sugary mixers.
Tip #3: Get adequate sleep. This will support your hormones that control your metabolism, hunger, and satiety.
You can stay healthy and happy during the holiday season. Wellness is not about perfection; it's about making conscious decisions to better your state of wellbeing. Wellness 360 works to educate you and support your individual health needs. We use our physical therapy background to provide you with evidence-based exercises and education for your optimum health. We aim to manage, prevent, or reverse your disease diagnosis through exercise and lifestyle modifications. You can learn more through www.wellness360fitness.com. Until then, have a safe and healthy holiday season!