The holidays are here, bringing with them warm hearths, giant family dinners, and stacks on stacks of tasty treats & snacks. With everything that goes on in November and December, it’s no surprise that so many people worry about gaining weight and losing energy over the holiday season. In fact, being more healthy is the #1 New Year Resolution most people make (and break) come January. But why wait? Starting your healthy habits a month or two early can actually be easy, even during the most tempting time of the year. With our motto to “be healthy” in mind, here are a few motivational tips for staying healthy through the holidays:
Health Tip #1: Sweet Tooth? Opt for Natural Sugar
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” but not Santa Claus, so don’t worry about scaring him off. Just because he favors cookies over kale doesn’t mean you have to follow his example. The natural sugars in fruit like apples and berries will satisfy your seasonal sweet-tooth without compromising the healthy habits you’re trying to maintain. As for those delicious candied apples — you won’t get any coal in your stocking for it, but use your judgment when it comes to adding on the extra sugar.
Turn the hustle of holiday shopping into a workout by going the extra mile. Annoyed by the lack of mall parking? Strategically park further away so you can walk the added distance and burn off some extra calories. Overcrowded escalator? Take the stairs! Too many shopping bags to lug around? Looks like “arm day” came early this year! And finally, always take the long way around the mall to simultaneously avoid the food court and log a few extra steps. So remember to push it to the limit while holiday shopping, just not with your credit card!
Health Tip #3: Add Some Color to Your Holiday Diet
This year, be healthier by challenging yourself to include a variety of colored fruits and veggies in your holiday feast. If your family is anything like mine, your Thanksgiving dinner usually looks like a delicious pile of potatoes and other beige-colored carbs. And while sweet potatoes are healthier than traditional spuds, trying adding a little more color to your next holiday dinner with some crisp green beans, roasted carrots, fresh tomatoes, and sauteed spinach. Get creative and try to find something to eat for every color of the rainbow (bonus points if you get something blue!).
Health Tip #4: Full After a Feast? Hike It Off
After your holiday feast is over and before the desserts and drinks start to flow, take a quick break to give your body a chance to recover. In fact, rather than succumbing to the inevitable food coma right away, go for a quick family hike around the neighborhood to bask in all the holiday lights and decorations. By the time you get back home you’ll be ready to sit by the fire and sip on a hot drink (eggnog anyone?) without feeling guilty for overindulging.
Health Tip #5: Whistle While You Work (on Decorations)
This holiday season instead of just bonding over tasty treats like chocolate and holiday cookies, why not engage in some non-edible DIY arts & crafts with your family. There are literally tons of ideas online for fun, easy holiday crafting projects that you can turn into gifts as well. Also, one of my favorite family traditions is decorating tree baubles and hanging them up each year. There are no shortage of holiday tasks to do during the holiday season, so break out the glitter & ribbons and get festive instead of “feasty.”