I really am not ready for the holiday hype–it’s not even my birthday yet! I’ve already had to dust off the #RespectTheBird hashtag to protest early holiday shopping, and I don’t care how cute that Target ad is, it’s still too early! That said, it’s not too early to start planning for a healthy holiday season, so I’m joining the Friday Five link up hosted by Eat Pray Run DC, Mar on the Run and You Signed Up for What?! to share my tips.
- Stay active. One advantage of working out in the morning is that holiday festivities rarely interfere with my exercise time. Still, it can be hard to get up early if I’ve been out late celebrating or up late baking cookies. On the other hand, I know I will feel better if I keep up with my fitness routine, and going for a run with a friend is a great way to stay sane this time of year.
- Eat healthfully. I refer to the time from now through New Year’s as the “holiday eating season.” Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’ve got our office holiday party, our office building holiday party, my neighbor’s holiday party, and our neighborhood holiday party, and that doesn’t include celebrations with family and friends. In years past, I wrote off the whole season and threw in the towel on healthy eating until January. Now, I focus on eating healthfully throughout the season with homemade soups, salads, and lots of fruits and veggies, and am picky about what I indulge in. That means passing on the egg nog and saying “no, thanks” to store-bought goods, so I can enjoy my favorite Christmas cookies.
- Drink more water. I may not feel as thirsty when it’s cold outside, but I know I get dehydrated from spending more time with the heat on–especially at work where my wall unit blows hot air. It’s tempting to opt for coffee, tea, or hot cider this time of year, but I try to make sure I am drinking enough water to combat fatigue and flush out whatever excesses I’ve indulged in.
- Take time to relax. The holidays are supposed to be fun, right? So why are they so stressful? I think it’s because we say “yes” more than we want to, and sacrifice our down time. I’m trying to be more selective in how I celebrate the holidays and making sure I enjoy the quieter moments–taking a walk to see neighborhood decorations, relaxing in the glow of the Christmas tree.
- Get some sleep. Maybe this should be the first tip, but I know it’s really hard to get enough sleep this time of year. It’s seems I’m either up late shopping, baking, or wrapping, or I’m up late trying to relax and unwind from an evening of shopping, baking or wrapping! But if I let myself get too tired I’ll be too grumpy to enjoy the holidays–or I’ll get run down and get sick. So, I try to get some sleep–even if it takes stealing a nap while my family watches It’s A Wonderful Life.
Of course, another great way to stay healthy this holiday season is to participate in the #HolidaySweat challenge. It’s not too late to sign up!
How do you plan to stay healthy this holiday season?