How to Stay Healthy Over the Holidays
The holidays are a time marked with a steep increase in the moments of indulgence. From incredible food to incredible wine and even some incredible presents, self-indulgence feels like the point of the holidays. But, if you've spent all year trying to maintain your health and help yourself feel fitter, you're probably wondering how you can stay on track over the holiday period.
We've been doing a bit of research and we've found a few ways to help you stay on top of your health over the holidays. These include tips for weight management as well as overall health and stress management. Health covers both physical and mental health and it is important to keep both in good shape this holiday season.
To find out more about health during the holidays and how you can maintain it, keep reading now.
Why do we become more unhealthy during the holidays?
The holidays are known as times when people over-indulge, eat too much, drink too much, and forget about their diets. There is always more food, more opportunity to drink, and more reason to indulge. Health always seems like less of a priority during the holidays.
On top of this, there is the stress of the holidays. From buying presents for every single member of your family, including their pets, to trying to meet all of your end-of-year work deadlines, it's no wonder people feel a rise in stress levels during this time. And for some, the actual holidays themselves, spending time with family, and being around people you only ever see during the holidays can cause stress too.
Stress has been repeatedly linked to weight gain, poor mental health, and poor overall health and so a spike at this time of year can leave you starting the new year in less than good spirits. If this is you, then we've got some tips for you too!
When we look at how to stay healthy over the holidays we don't just mean healthy eating and maintaining a healthy weight, we also mean learning ways to manage stress, getting enough sleep, and prioritising your emotional health as well as your physical health.
To find out more, keep reading now.
Tips for staying healthy during the holidays
Before we look at some tips on how to stay healthy during the holidays, we need to clarify that health doesn't just entail staying at what is considered a healthy weight. A healthy lifestyle is one in which you feel good about yourself as well as in your physical health. The tips we have gathered cover everything from managing weight gain to managing stress to ensure you stay healthy across the board this holiday season.
Check out our tips below.
Indulge only on the special days
It can be tempting throughout the holiday season to indulge almost every day. With a sharp increase in the number of sweet treats on offer in the supermarkets during the holidays, you're more than likely tempted to grab some each time you go shopping, but choosing to only indulge on the special days during the holidays can help you to stay on track.
Choosing to only eat the sweet treats on these days can mean that they feel more special and they can help you not to throw all of your hard work out of the window!
Keep taking your health supplements
To keep your immune system in good shape, ensure you're still taking your health supplements throughout the entire season. Stay on top of your vitamin C or multivitamins to keep your health in good shape and stave off any unwanted illnesses that often go around this time of year too!
Not taking your vitamins can put you at a higher risk of getting sick which could ruin this special time of year!
Limit your alcohol intake
This may be more difficult at this time of year but choosing not to drink at every event can help you to maintain your weight and your health. Alcohol is known for contributing to weight gain, as well as poor health in general. It can prevent you from getting quality sleep and can increase your blood pressure when consumed in large amounts.
Not only the physical effects, but alcohol can also cause bouts of depression and make you feel more anxious and stressed. Trying to reduce the amount of alcohol you consume can help you to feel better, more alert, and happier during the holidays.
Continue your exercise regime
Now, we're not saying you have to go to the gym or do an intense resistance band workout on Christmas day, but staying on top of the exercise you usually do can help you to feel healthier this holiday season. Make movement a priority and ensure you're getting your steps in, even on special days.
Get out of the house
Along the same lines as the exercise, ensuring you leave the house and get some fresh air can help to keep your spirits up this holiday season. Spending all of your time in the house can cause you to feel a little overwhelmed and getting out into nature can help you to feel happier.
Why not go for a morning walk on Christmas day? Take the family and go and get some fresh air before indulging in a huge Christmas dinner.
If the holidays are a stressful time for you then practising mindfulness throughout the season can help you to feel more grounded and enjoy the experience more. Practice some grounding techniques, take some deep breaths and try to notice the small things that make you happy throughout the season to keep your spirits up.
Prioritise fun and family time
The holidays are about spending time with loved ones but sometimes we can get too caught up in indulging ourselves to really enjoy it. Try to maintain your healthy diet by prioritising the time you spend with loved ones throughout this period.
Eat fibre with every meal
A major component of a healthy diet, eating fibre with every meal is essential during the holidays. For one, it is good to balance blood sugar and help keep your blood sugar at a healthy level. Secondly, eating enough fibre can keep your digestive system working properly, and finally, it can help you to feel full, meaning you won't overindulge!
Get good sleep
Your sleep quality can impact both your physical and your mental health. Mental health professionals agree that good sleep can be the key to feeling less anxious and more optimistic and it can help you to eat less sugary food.
Practice stress management
If the holidays are a stressful time for you, you may find that practising stress management techniques can help you to feel less stressed and anxious. This could mean ensuring you exercise each day, even just a short yoga practice, or it could mean practising meditation and breathwork to still the mind.
No matter what techniques you use to keep your stress at bay, practising these methods is essential if you find the holidays a stressful time.
Staying healthy over the holidays means more than just sticking to your diet and continuing to lose weight. It is also about maintaining good mental wellbeing and staying on top of your immunity too. Our tips for staying healthy cover everything from getting good sleep and continuing exercise to eating enough fibre and limiting alcohol, and, following even a few of these tips can help you to feel better.
While it can be difficult to stay on track during the holidays, setting boundaries and learning when to say no is key to staying healthy during the holidays.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I stay healthy on the holidays?
Staying healthy during the holidays means both maintaining a good diet and keeping your emotional health in check. You could begin by ensuring you exercise, take your supplements and eat enough fibre throughout the holidays to keep your physical health in check. In addition, you could ensure you get good sleep and make sure to get out of the house when you can. To keep your mental health in check, you should practise mindfulness and other stress management techniques to ensure you keep healthy in your mind too.
What are the eight tips for staying fit during the holidays?
Eight tips for staying fit during the holidays are:
- Limit your alcohol intake when you can so you don't drink your calories
- Eat enough fibre to ensure you feel fuller for longer and don't overindulge
- Keep on top of your exercise regime and ensure you get your heart rate going
- Limit your intake of sugary treats
- Only indulge on special days to make it more special
- Prioritise spending time with family over eating lots
- Get good quality sleep
- Keep your mental wellbeing in good order to ensure you don't stress eat
How do you stay trim during the holidays?
If you've spent all year getting in shape, you probably don't want to ruin it all during the holidays. To stay trim during the holidays, you should ensure you're eating lots of fibre to keep your digestive system functioning and helping yourself feel fuller for longer and ensuring you don't overindulge. You should also ensure you get good sleep at night so you're not tempted by sugary snacks and limit your alcohol intake so that you don't drink unnecessary calories.
How do you maintain your fitness level?
To maintain your fitness level, you need to ensure you are continuing to work out and move your body to build muscle and stay in shape. You should also ensure you are eating a healthy and balanced diet, full of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and limiting sugary snacks. Maintaining your fitness is all about doing more of the same and knowing that it works for you.