Busy schedules, shopping for gifts, holiday parties, school festivities, fighting the seasonal illnesses…no wonder so many of us feel a little overwhelmed during the holiday season. While December is a time for excitement and good cheer for many of us, with so much on our plates, it’s not surprising we don’t have a lot of energy left over to focus on our health. Here are a few tips on how you can get through the holiday season without feeling like you took 50 steps backwards with your health and fitness goals.
Fitting in Activity:
Finding time to exercise can be a challenge this month, so you may need to be a little creative. If you can’t fit in a 30 minute continuous cardiovascular routine, try to squeeze in 10 minute bouts throughout your day. If the weather cooperates, take in some fresh air and go for an outdoor walk to see the neighborhood decorations.
If you find yourself attending a few holiday celebrations this month, there are a few things you can keep in mind while you enjoy time with family, friends and colleagues.
- Try to keep your meals to one plate. This of course will help with portion control.
- Take time to socialize and mingle with others at the party.
- Eat slowly. Enjoy every bite, take your time and savor every morsel of the seasonal tastes.
- Limit your alcohol intake. Keep in mind that the tasty holiday mixed concoctions are much higher in caloric content, (and low in nutrients). So again, sip slowly and enjoy!
There are lots of healthier alternatives to traditional holiday recipes, as well as some wonderful new dishes that your family may have not yet experienced. Here are some links to healthy recipe websites:
- American Council on Exercise’s Healthy Recipes
- American Heart Association’s Nutrition Center
- Eating Well
- Cooking Light
Please remember to enjoy yourself! If your current nutrition plan or exercise routine is so restrictive that you’re missing out on things you love or feeling guilty if you take one bite of chocolate, it should raise a few flags. A huge component of the St. Laurent Health & Performance philosophy is to find enjoyment and pleasure in the activities you choose to stay active. Believe it or not, there are lots of healthy food choices that happen to be yummy too! But, don’t give up on your favorite holiday treats – moderation is the key!