The holidays are a time to share joy and happiness with loved ones. Yet with long lines, holiday parties and traveling, this time of year can really be exhausting. Add in the cold weather and other everyday stresses and you will find staying happy and healthy during the holidays can be downright impossible.
“People fall ill around this time of year partially due to stress. That’s why I encourage my patients to stay active and manage calories during this time of year to not only stay healthy, but also to help improve stress and mental well-being,” says Dr. Adam Seidner, a family physician at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, Conn. Seidner is on the American Board of Family Medicine and American Board of Preventative Medicine as well as a consultant to food and beverage companies including Coca-Cola.
This year whether you’re at the mall, at a party or on a plane, here are a few things you can do to stay happy and healthy this holiday season.
* Make moves: With so much to do and people to see it can be hard to stick with workout routines. Find other ways to stay active. Choose a parking spot further from the store, take stairs instead of an elevator or take an extra lap around the mall before you leave.
* Choose healthy snacks: With all of the running around, packing a few “to go” snacks in your bag or car helps you fight temptation to overeat on the go. Great portion-controlled snack packs, 7.5 oz mini cans and smaller packages are convenient to carry in your purse or bag.
* Stay hydrated: Staying hydrated is just as important during the colder months as it is during the summer. The good news is all beverages hydrate so grab anything from water, tea, coffee or soda, and if you are looking to trim on calories, opt for a low- and no-calorie version of your favorite beverage.
* Decorating is movement: Take a day to decorate your house inside and out – it’s festive and can be a fun way to get in the holiday spirit. Get active by lifting boxes and moving things around the house. You can even get your family involved.
* Track your success: Whether you’re walking the mall or shopping in a large store, clip on a pedometer or download an app that tracks your steps. Don’t forget that everyday activities count as movement and you can kill two birds with one stone.
* Have fun with the family: This season is all about spending time together so create new healthy traditions with your family. Get into snowball fights, take ice-skating trips and put on holiday dance parties at home.
Getting through the holidays happy and healthy doesn’t have to add to your to-do list. Following these simple steps can help inject a little fun into a typically stressful time of year.