Tips for staying healthy over the Holidays

healthy and fit food

We’ve all been there. It’s December, which brings holiday parties, family gatherings, reunions with old friends, and your mom’s irresistible shortbread cookies. It’s easy to indulge in one too many eggnog lattes and helpings of stuffing. However, with the shift in your regular activity and diet, it is hard to maintain your health-related goals and not fall off the tracks. I’ve said, “I’ll get back on track in January”, one too many times myself. Let’s make this holiday season your healthiest and happiest yet!

Here are my top 5 tips for staying healthy and fit this holiday season:

  1. Instead of doing the typical night out with friends for cocktails and apps, opt for an activity like a yoga class, indoor rock climbing, a game night, or simply walk through the neighbourhood. You will have more quality time than you would in a noisy restaurant, and your body will thank you.
  2. Do at least 15 minutes of physical activity in the morning. Pick 4-5 exercises that you’re comfortable with (eg. squats, lunges, planks, etc, or specific rehab exercises given by your therapist!) and do a short circuit before you get your day started. This will be quick and easy and won’t keep you away from your family and friends. Regular morning workouts will get your metabolism revving and get you burning more calories throughout the rest of the day. We start to lose muscle mass and strength after 4-5 days of rest, so incorporate some daily activity to try to avoid large breaks in your exercise routine.
  3. Look forward to 1-2 occasions in which you want to indulge, and plan to be healthy the rest of the week. If you know you want to have extra helpings or some treats at an event, eat lighter the rest of the day to avoid the impact of those extra calories. Make sure to include lots of water and nutritious whole foods!
  4. Engage in some winter sports! Skiing, snowboarding, snow-shoeing, skating, or even building a snow man (assuming there will be snow!), is an excellent way to get your heart rate up, build functional strength and boost that metabolism.
  5. Get adequate sleep. Holiday parties bring late nights. Try to get at least 8 hours. Sleep rejuvenates and rebuilds the body and this happens most effectively between 10pm and 2am. Avoid getting sick and feeling exhausted by being serious about your snoozing.

Hopefully these tips can help you enjoy yourself over the winter break, while maintaining the hard work you’ve been putting in all year.  Stay on track this holiday season and make January an easy transition.

Here’s to a healthy and happy 2018!