Don’t let the go-go-go-grinch steal your holiday health. It’s time to reclaim your health through the holiday season by putting your health before the go-go-go of preparing for, hosting and attending all of the events through work, church, sports, arts, families and friends. Here are four steps to take you through a healthier and happier holiday season.
There is nothing more important than your health. Without it you can’t do all you need to for your loved ones. This is your body, your health. The only person who can make a difference is you.
- Commit to exercising at least 30 minutes a day, every day.
- Commit to eating a healthier diet.
- Choose to make these commitments a priority over the extra events you plan to attend this holiday season.
Instead of thinking of how to cram in the exercise around your schedule, work your schedule around the exercise. You can choose to add in tons of extra activities and run around stressing about getting it all done, or you can choose to do fewer activities well and stress less.
- Say no to events and requests for help that will make your life too busy for healthy living.
- Say yes to the foods that are best for you and eat those first before selecting the less healthy dishes from the buffet table.
- Say yes to smaller portions of the foods with higher fat content.
The holiday season tends to be busier and all the extra events alter your schedule from the norm. If your exercise class is at a specific time and you will miss it because of holiday parties or kid’s recitals, then plan ahead for another time and different activity.
- Rework your exercise options. Prepare for the busy times and bad weather with exercise DVDs (borrow them from your local library) that you can do from home.
- Reshape your workout from your regular 30-minute chunk to two 15-minute exercise sessions.
- Relearn to eat by grazing when presented with a buffet of rich and delicious holiday food. Take small portions of the various dishes so you have a little taste of everything.
Find ways to combine your exercise and time with your friends and family. Get support for creative exercising and dining through your local Morale, Welfare and Recreation. The MWR program has a wide range of programs and services from fitness, equipment rental, adventure trips and outdoor recreation, to event tickets, leisure tours, libraries and bowling centers.
- Catch some air! Gather your friends, siblings, parents or kids for a game of basketball, touch football, catch or kickball.
- Take a hike! If the kids or your significant other have a sports practice or music lesson, take that time to walk around the area instead of reading or gaming from your smartphone.
- Use what you’ve got! If it snows, forgo your regular exercise and get out in the snow and play. You don’t need kids to play in the snow!
- Fuel up before you go! Drink plenty of water and eat some fruits or vegetables before you leave for the party. You won’t need to eat as much once you’re at the party.
- Trick your stomach! Use smaller plates when eating at a buffet. Bring sugar-free mints to pop as soon as you are finished with your meal. The mint helps curb the urge to munch.
Remember that even though you have to choose to live a healthier life, you don’t have to make the changes alone. Contact a Military OneSource health and wellness coach for help developing a plan for exercise and healthy eating during the holidays. You can make an appointment for a phone or online session by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or check out the Health and Wellness Coaching Frequently Asked Questions article for more information.
Take the hustle and bustle out of your holiday by choosing to participate only in the activities that enrich your healthy living lifestyle.