The season of overindulgence (and colds, flu and sleepless nights worrying about what to get the little ones for Christmas or Hanukkah) is upon us, and time seems to go at hyper speed as we prep menus for family dinners, squeeze through crowds at the mall, and (for some people) battle loads of snow. With all that goes on between Halloween and New Year's, no one has time to be sick! Here are a few easy tips to stay in tip-top shape and have a very merry (and healthy) holiday season.
Get enough sleep
Many studies suggest that the average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep each night. While it's tempting to stay up late watching the Grinch or wrapping gifts, it's very important that you listen to your body's cues and get to bed at a reasonable hour. After a good night's sleep, you'll wake up feeling refreshed and your mind will be in peak condition to tackle the remaining items on your to-do list.
Choose healthy foods
This is a tough one for many people. Holiday spirit seems to drive friends, family, and co-workers to get out their oven mitts and bake delicious concoctions. While sharing is wonderful and the treats might taste amazing, remember to consume them in moderation. Load up on lean protein and vegetables at meals so by the time the cookie tray comes your way, your appetite has been satisfied and you'll be less-likely to splurge.
Wash your hands
This one might be the easiest to follow, especially as the temperatures outside drop; once you've lathered, rinsed, and scrubbed for at least 20 seconds, according to the Mayo Clinic, let the warm water run over the veins in your wrists for a quick warm-up. Keep yourself germ free by washing after preparing food, using the restroom, touching animals, blowing your nose or coughing, handling garbage and shaking hands. Since it's likely you'll be doing at least one of these activities over the next couple of weeks, make sure you're washing up regularly.
Move your body
Getting the recommended 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week can be tough when there are decorations to hang and holiday parties to attend. Take this time to be creative with how you squeeze in some movement. For example, a bag of groceries is a great weight to add to some kitchen squats, and parking as far as you can from the store as you shop is a good way to sneak in some cardio. You could also bundle up and get outside; building a snowman is a fun way to get moving.
According to WebMD, drinking water throughout the day can keep your body balanced, stomach full longer, muscles energized, skin looking fresh, and kidneys and bowels functioning properly. With a high-functioning body, you'll be at your best to take on any holiday challenge (even assembling toys with a thousand parts).
This holiday season is sure to be one for the books; make sure you feel your best!
1Mayo Clinic Staff. "Adult Health." Hand-washing: Do's and Don'ts. Mayo Clinic, 22 Oct. 2014. Web. 18 Nov. 2015.
2Mayo Clinic Staff. "Fitness Basics." Mayo Clinic, 16 May 2015. Web. 18 Nov. 2015.p>
3Zelman, Kathleen M., MPH, RD, LD, and Louise Chang, MD. "Why Drink More Water? See 6 Health Benefits of Water." WebMD. WebMD, 2008. Web. 23 Nov. 2015