Staying Healthy for the Holidays

Staying Healthy for the Holidays

You’ve been eating right, exercising regularly and practicing a level of self-care that would make Oprah and Dr. Oz proud. But then Thanksgiving arrives, and along with it a month-long freefall into gluttony, stress and sluggishness. The downward spiral may feel inevitable at this time of year, but it doesn’t have to be.

As challenging as it may seem, sticking to your healthy routines is important. It’s easy to adopt the mentality that it’s only once or twice a year, so a little overindulging is no big deal.  And if that were true, having a super-sized slice of Grandma’s famous banana cream pie would be completely justified. But the reality is that Thanksgiving kicks off an extended feeding frenzy for most people, if you include not only the actual holidays, but work functions, celebrations at your children’s school, neighborhood parties, etc.

How to keep it in check?

  • Go for quality, not quantity: Do you obsess over your brother’s homemade stuffing but are just so-so on the sweet potatoes? Skip anything that you don’t entirely love, and savor every single bite of the foods you do. There is no rule that says you need to sample everything on the table
  • Don’t drink your calories: Bypass the fattening – and willpower-reducing – cocktails and stick with water or seltzer
  • Fill up early: Have a substantial but healthy snack right before you go to a party so you don’t arrive with a ravenous appetite
  • Be strict on regular days: On non-celebration days, carefully maintain your regular, healthy eating habits. This gives you more wiggle room on the days when you are surrounded by temptation

As for working out during the holidays, we know – and have probably used – all the excuses. There’s not enough time. I’m burning enough calories while navigating the crowds at the mall. I’ll start over after the New Year. But keeping your regular exercise regimen a priority right now is not only essential for your physical health, but your mental state as well.

Songs may tout it as the most wonderful time of the year, but the holiday season is also known to be one of the most stressful times. Family conflicts, financial worries and social isolation are just a few causes for the anxiety that can go hand in hand with the merriment. Be sure to squeeze in some time for yourself to do whatever relaxes you – yoga, a warm bath, a massage – if you are feeling overwhelmed (For more suggestions, here’s a great list of tips for managing holiday stress).

Contributed by USA Karate & Fitness Official Training Center http://www.usakaratefitness.com

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