Contrary to popular thinking holiday pounds, pandemonium, and epicurean living are not inevitable. Have fun, indulge a little, and enjoy the holidays using these holiday helping ideas.
|Image credit: Jessica Socheski|
The holidays are a time when we all get together and it is a great time to spread colds and flu. A good tactic to keep from getting sick is getting a flu vaccine instead. If you feel a cold coming on, run to the drug store and grab some zinc, vitamin c and Echinacea to try to stop it or at least slow it. Carry hand sanitizer and use it when you are shopping or in crowded parties or events. Wash your hands frequently to prevent contagious bugs from invading your life. Make sure you dress appropriately for weather. Get out the gloves and hats and boots!
There are so many delicious indulgences everywhere we go during the holidays. It is so easy to eat unconsciously. A cookie at work, candy, appetizers and drinks at a party and before we know it, we have added a couple of thousand calories to our day. Eat mindfully and try to limit the amount of extra sugar, fat and flour you add to your diet. If you do indulge try to offset by eating lightly at the next meal. Try to eat healthy food before indulging in fattening foods to limit calorie intake. Try eating an apple before going to a party to stave off hunger pangs.
Do what you can to limit stress during the holidays. Stress causes a lowering of the immune system and affects sleep and food intake. Manage stress by planning activities in advance and making sure there are adequate time and resources to complete tasks and enjoy time. A massage or other indulgence can go a long way to break up a difficult week with too many things today and can lower stress.
Sleeping eight hours a day can help to prevent stress, drama, and overeating. Lack of sleep can trigger the appetite and zap essential energy. Try taking short cat naps when you are unable to get a full night's sleep.
Overindulging in alcohol can stimulate cravings for starchy foods. It's okay to have a drink, but not so many that the effects are felt the day. Alcohol adds a lot of empty calories. A serving of alcohol has between 80-400 calories depending on the type alcohol and the things that are added to it.
The weather changes during the holidays, the traffic grows and we have a of exotic foods everywhere we go. Safety is essential.
When making and serving rich foods during the holidays, make sure they sit out for no more than two hours. Healthy food storage is essential. Make sure the containers food is stored in have tight lids and are stored in a refrigerator at the proper temperatures.
The snow causes hazardous conditions for homes in the holidays. Keep the sidewalks and driveways salted and cleared of snow and ice. A bad fall can ruin the holidays for your family.
The traffic can be maddening. The holidays are the best time to drive defensively and avoid accidents. Drive with assured clear distance from the car in front of you.
Exercise can counteract all of the alcohol and other indulgences. Try to fit a little exercise into your day. Walk extra when you are out shopping. Pop into the gym and little more often. Hit the treadmill for ten more minutes a day. Exercise reduces stress, improves sleep and burns those sinful calories.
With just a little forethought and a little planning, the holidays can be fun, exciting and happy. We just need to limit the excess and little bit and add in a little more sleep and exercise to come out the same weight we came in.
Jennifer Livingston is a freelance writer who specializes on topics related to health, fitness and family. When she is not writing, she likes to bake, read and travel.