Q. What are some tips for a healthier holiday season?
A. When people think of the holidays, several images come to mind—generally yummy, indulgent food tops the list. We all know that the treats and eats are what can make or break us. Why not prepare ahead of time for the expected and unexpected? I generally workout in the days leading up to Christmas, so that when the big day arrives, I can squeeze in a morning workout if I want to, or sleep in and take it easy.
We all deserve at least one rest day a week, after all. I eat sensibly in the days prior to (and even the day of) to keep my weight in check and bolster my immune system. After all, how awful would it be to not be able to enjoy the festivities because you are sick? Traveling across the country mixes people and germs alike, so take heed and eat healthy (at least until your big splurge) to protect yourself as much as possible from a potential cold. Get outside and get moving! Walk with your loved ones or play a game of tag with the kids—we are in the gorgeous Sunshine State after all! No excuses! You will get fresh air, exercise, and heck, even help your food digest a little bit better!
Better yet, play some games that stimulate your brain— it will make it even more fun to challenge others! Try Scattergories, Taboo, etc. Limit the alcohol—your waistline will thank you. Why tag on additional calories? You can still have a great time without several drinks. Instead of taking in the average 3,000 calorie holiday feast, eat a regular portion-sized meal. Wait twenty to thirty minutes. If that second round is calling your name, so be it. More than likely you will have moved on to something better and chances are, a potential belly-ache/heartburn/indigestion will have talked you out of it.
Also, try not to stress—about anything! We all have things that stress us: finding the perfect gift, waiting in lines, cooking the best meal for our families, traveling, etc. Worrying will not make anything better, so when the unexpected occurs (and it will!) try to “roll with the punches”, keep a positive attitude, and find a new alternative to the situation. Do you want everyone to remember you being upset because the turkey was overcooked, or that you made a joke about it? If anything, have lots of pre-cut fruit laying around so that everyone (you included) can fill up on your five-a-day effortlessly.
If you find yourself wanting to get more out of the holidays, take a step back from the materialistic side of things and invite an acquaintance who doesn’t have any relatives to dinner, or bake a treat for an elderly neighbor. Try to be healthy and kind to your body this holiday season–after all, your New Year’s resolution is merely days away!
Crystal Manjarres is the owner of One-On-One Fitness and Group Fitness Training studio for men and women on Marco Island. She is a certified personal trainer and Stott Pilates certified instructor. She can be reached at www.101FIT.com, www.GFTMarco.com and (239) 333-5771.