3 Tips for Staying Active During the Holiday Season
Health and Nutrition Follow these rules of thumb while enjoying time with family and friends this most wonderful time of the year.
The holiday season is here, and for many of us that can mean being tempted by all of the rich foods that accompany this time of year. Finding a balance between overeating and obsessive calorie counting can be especially difficult if you are looking to lose or maintain your weight. Is there a way to enjoy your favorite holiday goodies and stay healthy? In fact, there are three:
1. Take a walk
Being active is your secret holiday weapon over the holidays. It can help make up for eating more than usual and has many other health benefits. Walking is a great way to be active. So skip the search for a close-up parking spot. Park farther away and walk to your destination. Make a few extra laps around the mall. Walk the length of the mall before going into any stores. This is also a good place to walk to avoid bad weather. Arrive at the airport 15 to 30 minutes earlier. Walk to your gate or terminal instead of taking the train.
2. Eat healthy
Healthy eating is all about balance. You can enjoy your favorite foods even if they are high in calories, saturated fat or added sugars. The key is eating them only once in a while or in small portions and balancing them out with healthier foods and more physical activity.
The holiday season can include full days of traveling, shopping, and running errands. Carry a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts instead of buying a less healthy snack in the food court. If your favorite recipe calls for frying fish or breaded chicken, try healthier baked or grilled variations. Maybe try a recipe that uses dry beans in place of higher-fat meats. At parties and gatherings, fill your plate with fruits and veggies first, and pick small portions of just your favorites of the other items.
3. Plan activities
Enjoy time with family and friends away from the dinner table. Shift your focus away from food, too. Try a seasonal activity with your family. Go ice-skating, decorate your house or walk around the neighborhood to see holiday lights. Make a "walk-and-talk" date with a friend or family member. Skip the latte and do a loop around the neighborhood instead.
As we prepare to spend time with our family and friends, take advantage of those special holiday moments. Pass on a healthy holiday tradition to your kids or help them start a new one. Every year, my family likes to spend New Year’s Day taking a family hike on our favorite trail. What will you do this holiday season?