Tips To Stay Healthy During the Holidays

The holidays are upon us… and with the festive season comes a feast of cakes, desserts, late night snacks, and indulgent lunches. At this time of year, then, it seems especially difficult to keep healthy and to stay fit. Many of us have children, families, and friends to socialize with during this time, too, and finding an hour or two a day to keep track of our habits and fitness level seems, well, near impossible.

The good news is, though, there is a way. In this post, I’m going to discuss tips for staying healthy and fit this festive season. The health of your body and mind is of utmost importance when it comes to making the most of those special times with your family and loved ones, and staying fit and keeping up good habits means that the risk of injury after the festive season is also reduced.

So, if you’re ready to tackle the holidays healthily, take a look at these helpful tips:

1.       Make time for keeping active
I know that it can be stressful trying to fit in an hour during your busy day for physical activity. The problem is, however, that many of us view our fitness regime as something fixed, a certain activity, for example, or that is must happen in a fixed place. This often hinders our ability to actually DO anything. Why not get creative? Holidays are all about trying to spend as much time with our loved ones as possible, after all. So, why not try doing group activities like, for example, exercise videos, ice skating, basketball, or even just a walk in town? Physical activity doesn’t have to mean an hour in the gym – it can be as simple as sharing a brisk walk through your nearest park with your partner, children, or friends.

2.       Avoid Overeating
Now, you knew this tip was coming, didn’t you? Aren’t we all guilty of having just a little more potato salad, or just one more slice of cake? How about just one more glass of wine, or that last beer in the cooler? Let me let you in on a secret: overeating is a lot less about eating too much than it is about being unaware of WHAT we’re eating. Your body has a built in mechanism for letting you know when you’re full; eating slowly and mindfully gives you the chance to take note of its warning. In addition to staying tuned-in to your body, try eating healthier snacks such as fruits and veggies, and make sure that you’re drinking enough water throughout the day. Including enough fiber and anti-inflammatory foods into your festive diet with help stave off an upset stomach and acid reflux, too.

3.       Give Yourself Downtime
I’m sure you think this sounds a lot easier said than done, especially with kids running around, food to prepare, and your leave not even docked in at work yet. I understand, but allowing yourself to be restful during your stressful holiday period is one of the most important aspects of staying healthy. Why not try and replace the TV screen for a book at night, try meditation for a few minutes a day, or even just sit in the garden with a cup of coffee in the morning? Soothing music, sketching, or even watching a movie you’ve been longing to see will add quality of life to your holiday experience.

4.       Challenge Yourself
Stress can overwhelm us during the holidays – from anxiety about unfinished business projects, to the financial strain of gifts and back-to-school supplies. And yet, it is often during the times of most stress that we find the strength to change those things that hamper our personal growth. So, my challenge is this: do something truly good for yourself. Stretch every day, quit smoking, cook a wholesome meal for your family, ride a bike – anything that makes you feel happier. Now is the time to embrace all the love in your life, and starting a good new habit – and increasing your health by eradicating bad ones – is such a wonderful place to start. There has never been a better time than now!

Because we understand how important time with your loved ones is, we want you to enjoy his festive season healthily, without pain, and without the anxiety that can accompany it. If you are currently suffering from physical pain that stops you from truly embracing the happiness of the festive season, or you’re in any physical comfort that deters you from trying the tips above, I invite you to call us today for more information on how one of our qualified, professional physical therapists can help you. Physical therapy is the fastest, most effective way of relieving pain and fixing the root cause of the problem so that you no longer have to worry about discomfort, early nights, painkillers, or missed social events. We want this festive season to be undeniably special – call us today for more information on how we can help you, right now!

So, there you have it: tips for how to stay healthy and fit this festive season. Being healthy doesn’t have to mean overhauling your entire life – it doesn’t even mean you can’t have an extra piece of cake, really. It means that you’re mindful and aware of your body, of the strains you face, and of ways in which to deal with that stress. Making time for some exercise, including some downtime, stretching, and eating well, will all help you get back into your normal routine when the New Year rolls around. Don’t let this festive derail you of your healthy habits, activity levels, or goals – keep aware of how you spend your time, make the most of it, and don’t be afraid to get creative. From all of us here, we hope you have a wonderful, healthy, and pain free Christmas! Happy holidays!

Dr. Jamie So

Jamie So, PT, DPT, is the owner and physical therapist of Manual Therapy Effects.


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