The holiday season is upon us, and it can be stressful. Gift expectation, seasonal events, travel, and mounting work obligations are just the tip of the iceberg.  Many people feel tempted to overindulge and exercise becomes less and less of a priority.   It is easy to wear down your immune system. Stay active and ward off the flu this season with mindful eating, drinking plenty of water, and exercising regularly.  You’ll thank yourself in the new year.

**-Don’t try to “make up” for consuming extra calories.  This may cause you to overexert yourself and to pull or tear a muscle.  Try to maintain your normal steady plan.  This way, you are also less likely to avoid the exercise.

Eat Healthy

They say great abs start in the kitchen. At home, work, and holiday parties, delicious dishes abound. Skipping mealtimes may seem to be an enticing solution to prevent excess calories, but this often contributes to overeating. Have a healthy breakfast within an hour or two of starting your morning, and then eat every four hours. This reduces your risk of making poor choices during the day. If you need to have a small snack, eat something healthy like string cheese, a smoothie, or a handful of almonds.

Be mindful of your food with each bite and take short breaks between courses. Choose healthier choices like turkey breast, steamed or fresh vegetables and fruits. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you have a little indulgence – like your co-worker’s cookies or your grandmother’s treasured holiday cake. If you eat moderately and mindfully, any food is okay.  If you’re worried about cholesterol levels, come in to ReLive Med and get your lipid panel checked! We can also test you for food allergies before the holidays to see what delectables you can enjoy.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plain or infused water as often as possible throughout the day. If you feel hungry, you may actually just be dehydrated. Take your body weight and divide it into half to find out how much water you should drink in a day. If you weigh 130 pounds, for example, drink around 65 fluid ounces of water all day long.

Limit drinks such as eggnog, martini and margaritas. Alcohol increases your appetite and reduces your control with eating. A glass of eggnog has 500 calories. Wine, beer, and cocktails can have up to 150 to 225 calories. When you drink alcohol, have glasses of water or infused water in between drinks.  If you find yourself to be over-served, or just want to stay ahead of the game, come in and get IV hydration therapy.

Exercise Regularly

Pre-plan your exercises around your holiday schedule. Remember that you don’t have to work out for an hour to get the benefits of exercise. You can break up your usual 30-minute workout into small chunks throughout the day. For example, take the stairs if you would normally use an elevator. You can also walk in the morning for 10 minutes, take a walk during lunch for 10 minutes, and then go on an evening walk at the local park if the weather permits for 10 minutes.  Any workout is better than no workout. If you need help figuring out how to fit everything into your schedule, our personal trainers can work with you to create a personalized holiday workout plan.

Enjoy the Holidays

Use these tactics to make some lifestyle changes, instead of trying to stick to a strict ‘plan.’ Do not worry so much about the need to stay fit and healthy that it undermines your ability to be present and joyful during holiday gatherings. Just keep your physical needs and goals in mind. These tips will help you stay on track while enjoying quality time with your family and friends. Have a happy and healthy holiday season from all of us at ReLive Med!