Stay Healthy During the Holidays

During the holidays, it can be a challenge to maintain healthy habits.

We want to help you make the right choices to live a healthy lifestyle, even when you’re in front of a pile of delicious food!

Follow these quick tips and ideas from Physical Therapy Assistant Danielle Martolz for a healthier holiday season:


Incorporate Light Movement

This time of year is a great time to move with family and friends. One idea is to have a post-dinner walk. Performing some form of light exercise helps with digestion. Start a new tradition with the family instead of sitting on the couch!


Snack Wisely

Pre-dinner snacks should include veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Eat mindfully. You don’t snack due to boredom! When you’re having pre-dinner appetizers, sit back and allow yourself to truly enjoy your favorite holiday flavors. Pay attention to the taste, aroma, and texture of the foods, which will help you better understand your hunger and fullness cues.


Drink Water

Have a goal in mind for daily water intake. The standard rule of thumb is to drink eight, 8 oz glasses of water a day. If that amount seems impossible, start with a reasonable goal for you and increase your goal week by week. Be sure to always have water before, during, and after any alcohol consumption.


Practice Portion Control

Meals are usually the center of the holiday season. Be sure to control what you put on your plate! One change you can make is to use smaller plates. Fill your plate with greens and veggies first and add lean proteins. Then survey the rest of the food and pick a few of your favorite indulgent dishes.


Limit Liquid Calories

Limit sugary drinks, opt for water instead of Pepsi. Or, try flavored sparkling water to be festive! Try to limit alcohol consumption and be careful with your choice of mixers.


Get Enough Sleep

Not nearly enough people get adequate sleep. This means 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Not getting enough sleep can lead to long-term effects on your health, including the risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. This season, try to avoid staying up late to watch TV or mindlessly scrolling on your phone.


Control Stress Levels

With the world’s current events, it’s easy to get stressed out. One thing to try is to practice gratitude. Every day when you wake up, think of one thing you are grateful for. Whether it’s your dog, house, or kids, there is always something to be grateful for! Remember, control what you can and let go of what is out of your control.

You can also try yoga or meditation to help with stress, there are tons of free videos available online.


Keep a Routine

Be sure to continue daily exercise and eat at regular times. Most people often think it’s better to skip breakfast if they are going to indulge later in the day. This is actually counterproductive and can cause you to eat more than you normally would if you started your day with breakfast.

Finally, we just want to remind everyone to give themselves grace during the holiday season! This is a stressful time of the year and you don’t need to be perfect. Making small, manageable improvements will have a big impact over time, while still being able to enjoy our favorite holiday treats!

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